The North Valley Community Rallies Together to Support the Bentley Family
Aaron Bentley, a Co-Defensive Coordinator and Defense Line Coach for Arizona Christian University’s football team is battling a much bigger challenge; his own life! He is a well-respected coach of 17 years, a husband to Jessica and father of two young children, son Tatum, 13 and daughter Olivia who is 8 years old. What he never expected to battle was learning after a series of medical tests and treatments, he was diagnosed with a rare disease called Langer Hans Cell Histiocytosis.
Bentley learned of his medical condition about four years ago when doctors found his left lung was completely full of tumor clusters, known as glass opacities. That led to treatments and eventually resection of his left lung. In that discovery, doctors found a tumor in his brain which required surgery and the removal of his pituitary gland. After working with Barrow Neurological at St. Joe’s hospital, the doctors discovered the correct diagnosis. LCH is a cell mutation which affects children before they go through puberty. Bentley has outlived this disease since most cases lead to more serious outcomes at a young age. Bentley is the only known person who has this disease over forty years old and continues to receive treatment. After 50 radiation treatments, bone marrow biopsies, lung biopsies, Bentley will require another brain surgery and will have to stay at Johns Hopkins Medical Facility in Neuro ICU for at least one month. However, they don’t have the money to get there. It has been a huge financial hardship and burden this treatment has caused his family. Bentley served in the Army from 1989 – 1993. He was an Arabic Syrian linguist who served in the Special Forces for the 7th Infantry Division for three tours in and around Baghdad. The doctors concluded that his time serving in these areas were polluted with various carcinogens and other toxins were ultimately what led to his current medical condition.
Unfortunately, the VA has denied his current requests for them to cover the monetary difference for what Bentley’s regular insurance will not cover. The North Valley community has always been supportive to families and local businesses in the Tramonto and Anthem communities. The owner of Azool Grill in Phoenix will be hosting the upcoming the fundraiser for “Bentley’s Battle.” Owner Mary Hultman and Jake Kenady will be opening their restaurant to host the upcoming fundraising event on Saturday, December 9th. “We will have raffles, 50/50 drawings, live music by Garrett Anderson, “Bentley’s Battle” T-Shirts, corn hole games and so much more,” said owner Mary Hultman. Azool Grill will have the extended parking lot fenced off with BBQ Grills, games and more. All the proceeds from these purchases will go directly to Bentley family to take care of the medical debt that they are facing right now. They are still accepting donations from the community, including raffle giveaways, gift cards to be raffled off. Hultman and Kenady are also donating $1 for every bottled beer that is sold throughout the fundraising event. Bentley does not have it easy but continues to remain positive about his situation. In order just to manage through the day, he has to take 9 different medications daily to regulate the loss of his pituitary gland, which is needed to survive. “I should have been dead already,” said Bentley in an interview with CBS 5 Sports News, Joe Pequeno. In addition to those, he has a handful of other pain medications to control the pressure the tumor is compressing around his optic nerves causing eye strain and headaches throughout the day.
Bentley stated, “When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I think is, “How can I impact someone positively today?” Bentley has a completely different view of his situation. In fact, he believes that God has bigger plans for him in sharing a different message. He feels that he can serve as an example to others as to how to handle difficult times during our human experience. He continued to express, “I strive to look at the positive otherwise I’d probably go crazy.”
Ultimately, the Bentley family has been faced with medical hardship and most of the all, the financial burden. Family supporters have set up a GoFundMe account to help the fundraising efforts. No gift is too small when someone can help another human life and help their family get through difficult times. The Black Canyon VFW and friends, Dave & Sally Miller, Barney & Tina Lavoie have also played instrumental roles in organizing the fundraising event this Saturday.
“We are all humans and we all suffer through difficult times, said Bentley. As a community, people can also show the meaning of human kindness. It can be the most powerful medicine of all. Please give what you can. Always remember, “Small acts of kindness, multiplied by thousands of people, can uplift the community,” said business and north valley community advocate, Melissa Swader. Help make a difference!
Please join the community and stop by Azool Grill in Tramonto to support Aaron Bentley's fundraising event.
Saturday, December 9th
12:00pm - 6:00pm (outside) but will move inside at sunset
3134 W Carefree Hwy # 3
Phoenix, AZ 85086
**The event will be extended to the outside parking lot. The BBQ and event will take up 3,000 square-foot of space to host the event.
Live Entertainment kicks off with Garrett Anderson and more live music in the evening.
If you are interested in donating items or gift cards for the raffle baskets and giveaways, please stop Azool Grill and drop off your items, anytime before the event Saturday.
Brian Benson and his family mark its second business ownership in Anthem. After selling their retail store, Rhapsody School of Music, Brian Benson had a new vision in mind. He and his family wanted to bring families back in a different way. The old saying goes, "When one door closes, another door opens" but for the Benson family, they were in control of their own fate and the doors are flying wide open. New Vision. Local Community.
They recently acquired the former Rookie's Neighborhood Sports Grill about three weeks ago (Aug.17'). The property is located in retail plaza off Anthem and Venture Way, anchored by tenant, Dollar Tree. Anthem has had its fair share of retail/restaurant shop space turnover during the years in that same suite, but for this motivated family, I believe the new restaurant is going to be around a very long time under great direction and ownership of a well-respected family in the community.
" We are currently cleaning, renovating, updating and replacing much of what was in the facility that we'll now call The Replay Sports Grill! We're very excited to show the community, our family, and friends our vision of a place where everyone feels welcome," stated Brian Benson. I recently visited with Brian, his wife, Angela and some of the new staff and there was so much excitement in the room. The restaurant space was surrounded by kitchen inventory, stacked up tables and chairs, old neon lights to be returned, kitchen appliances, electric drills and bare walls. The renovations they will be making are going to be amazing. Although I have some insight on those changes - haha :-), you will all have to check it all out for yourself. Let me tell you one more exciting detail about the new restaurant...... The New Menu! From savory to sweet, bring your appetite! This menu has been developed to cater to everyone's taste buds, including the mouth-watering entrees, kids menu and some specialty items that only people in Quebec would know about (hint hint).
So get ready to bring those families back to this new local restaurant/sports grill, surround yourself with great company and enjoy a great selection of food items from a mouth-watering menu, "specialty" drinks, and some new beers on tap. #supportlocal #Anthemlove
The Replay Sports Grill
3668 W. Anthem Way, Suite B132
Anthem, AZ 85086
Today, July 24th, we laid sweet Anna Ortega to rest. Last week, her parents asked her what was on her mind. She said she was sad for the kids who had to stay in the oncology unit at Phoenix Children's Hospital on Christmas Day. She wanted to deliver presents to those kids this year.
To keep her memory alive, her parents have created "Anna's Baskets" and will be delivering gifts to the children in the oncology unit at Phoenix Children's Hospital each Christmas.
If you have any unused toys, stuffed animals, comfort items or books that you are willing to donate to the Ortega family, please contact Melissa Dale Stevens at:
Or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at:
Grab a tissue box! What an amazing story of this little girl and her family.
Please visit: www.hopeforanna.com
Red Cups are the international sign of having a good time.
Our mission is to inspire others to get together with friends, family and neighbors to create good times and great memories. There’s no better way to do that than sharing a red cup and conversation. Do you have a tight-knit neighborhood? Regardless of your answer, we hope to ignite patio parties across America and challenge each person to raise a red cup and connect.
Get your Red Cups for the summer! These durable cups come in all shapes and sizes and are perfect for any outside pool party & BBQ!
Get your Anthem discount: Anthem10