Concert to benefit local girl |

Concert to benefit local girl

Teri Vance
Shannon Litz/Nevada Appeal

A concert featuring Jason Castro of American Idol fame will help offset the costs of a trip for a cancer-stricken girl through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Carson City’s Jake Mercer, 16, is helping to organize the fundraiser with classmates at Bishop Manogue Catholic High School in Reno.

They chose the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an organization that grants wishes of critically ill children, as their sophomore class service project, Jake said.

“We just fell in love with it,” he said. “We’re very fortunate to be able to work with them.”

The concert will go to reimburse the Wish Trip for Carson City’s Faithann Hodorowicz, 14, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor just before her 13th birthday in July 2009.

Faithann, who attends church with Jake, had originally chosen a trip to meet the pope as her wish.

“It would be fun to go to Italy, and I would like to meet the pope to get a prayer from him and tell him that he is a great man for telling everyone about God and Jesus,” she wrote on her application. “I would like to go to church there, too.”

Faithann’s mother, Annette Hodorowicz, a second-grade teacher at Bordewich-Bray Elementary School, said that although the foundation would have organized the trip, it conflicted with her teaching schedule.

Instead, they went last month to Holy Land, a religious theme park in Orlando, Fla. As part of the trip, they also went to Disney World, Universal Studios and Island of Adventure.

“It was a wonderful trip for her,” Hodorowicz said. “She just needed to forget about her cancer for a while and just be a kid like any other 14-year-old.”

She was also able to visit a Florida cathedral and meet with the bishop.

After two brain surgeries, four sessions of chemotherapy, 35 sessions of radiation and a bone marrow transplant, Faithann is now in remission. She travels for check-ups in Oakland, Calif., every three months.

Jake enlisted Carson City concert producers Inline Music Productions to organize the benefit starring Castro.

“Everything just fell into place with this service project,” he said. “It’s a real blessing.”

Faithann’s family, who is in Chicago visiting family, also feels blessed.

“We appreciate it so much,” Hodorowicz said.