By Alexandra Pecci
Correspondent NH Let's Go
Rod and Julie McCarthy were having dinner with their kids at a restaurant in Hudson, N.H., when someone asked them if they wanted to participate in a raffle to help a little girl named Bella Tucker.
“They plopped this thing down in front of me, and it showed me what had happened with Bella,” he said. “It just blew my mind. I just could not imagine some little girl going through such a traumatic thing.”
In early 2010, Bella Tucker of Londonderrry contracted streptococcus pneumonia sepsis with disseminated intravascular coagulation — an infection that attacked the then 8-year-old’s body with no warning, and with vicious speed. After Bella plunged into a coma, her doctors realized that the only way to save her life was to amputate all four of her limbs.
As he sat in that restaurant, Rod was overwhelmed as he read about Bella’s ordeal.
“I’ve really got to do something for this little girl,” he told Julie.
That something is the benefit “Rocking for Bella,” happening this Saturday at The Yard in Manchester.
“She’s got a long road ahead of her,” says concert committee member Christine Pageau. The concert organizers hope to make that road a little smoother for Bella and her family, for whom huge medical bills, therapy, wheelchairs, prosthetics, and possibly more surgeries will become a way of life.
“Rocking for Bella” will feature American Idol finalist Will Makar, whose band, Will Makar and The Red Line, is taking time out of its United States tour to be at the benefit.
“He heard about this and he wanted to be involved,” Rod said of Makar.
The event will also feature WROR’s Julie Devereaux; singer-guitarist Brittany Nicole; the band The Knurd Skwad; and Rod McCarthy himself, who plays in the U2 tribute band V2. There will be two mascots on hand, too: Max from the Manchester Monarchs and the Canaligator from the Lowell Spinners. People can also participate in a silent auction and raffle.
In addition to the musicians and mascots, NASCAR driver Joey Pole will be at the benefit with his car to sign autographs at noon.
“He’s going to sign autographs,” Rod said. “As many as he can before his hand falls off.”
Pole also put BellaTucker.org on the bumper of his car, “and the three races he ran with that, he won,” Rod said.
Every performer is donating their time and all of the money raised will go to the Bella Tucker Fund. For Rod and Julie, spearheading the benefit is the least they can do.
“Ever since we learned about her back in August, I don’t think a day has gone by without us thinking about her or praying for her,” Julie says. “It’s motivating every day to get up and look forward to this event.”
If you go:
What: Rocking for Bella.
Where: The Yard, 1211 South Mammoth Road, Manchester.
When: Saturday, Nov. 20, noon to 5 p.m.
Learn more: theyardrestaurant.com/bella.html.