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Cheney Free Press
Cheney , Washington
February 3, 2011     Cheney Free Press
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February 3, 2011

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Thursday, February 3, 2011 NEIGHBOR NEWS Free Press Section 2 Page 1 She's just a normal 5-year-old princess ML girl battles bone cancer with help from family and community By RYAN LANCASTER S00ffecponer Like any 5-year-old girl, Kayla Wiggins is a prin- ce. She loves playing dress up and attending fancy tea parties with friends, like one last summer that featured a bouncy castle and a real live princess, put on by her grandparents and legal guardians, Kimra and Tim Wig- gins, at their home in Medical Lake. Kayla is also one tough kid. This and two other mid- summer celebrations were part of an effort to help the little girl keep in touch with schoolmates while she was irecovering from cancer. "It's been hard/" Kimra Wig- gins said. "She doesn't quite understand some of wh_af s happening but she does understand that she would pass :away if not for the amputations." In April of 2009 Kyla was diagnosed with Osteosarco- i ma, an aggressive bone tumor that led to the amputation of her left leg. Wiggins said it was a scary time, when her granddaughter would often speak of angels and going to heaven, but soon she was talking about wanting to grow up, and her strength started to shine through. On kids' day at the 2009 National Veterans Wheel- chair Games, just nine days after the amputation, Kayla competed in a wheelchair maze race. She has since done :some rock climbing and is taking part in an adaptive ski program for kids with disabilities at Mt Spokane. Kayla also participated in last year's Cheney Relay for Life walk, where Wiggins said she brought eyeryone to tears when she tossed her walker aside and began relying solely on her prosthetic leg for the first time since the surgery, i Wiggins said Kayla loves animals, such as her cat Trouble, and wants to join 4-H when she gets a little older. i"No amputation is going to stop her from doing anything she wants to do in life," Wiggins said. "She doesn't like to be called different or special, and our goal is to help her know that she is perfectly normal." Kayla was cancer free until four months ago, when doctors found recurring cancer in her right leg and it too was removed on Dec. 30. Wiggins was laid off from her job just weeks before the re-diagnosis and, while. relying on her husband s income alone has'made things' difficult, she sees it as a blessing to have more time for her granddaughter's many appointments. "If s like a work schedule, the amount of time spent in thetal ersus at home," she said. "Next week is her last of chemo and then she'll have physical therapy two to three times a week, the trial medication once a week, scans every three months to 'fftti ' -it's Contributed photo by Kimra Wiggins Kayla Wiggins, in the role of Mini Mouse, pos0s with a real princess at a party put on The Prevailing Wind The following are a pair of poems by Cheney-area resident Harold Meili. Bowing Branches and Rippling Hay Life goes on its merry way Like wind bowing branches and rippling hay. It's here today and gone tomorrow That short breath of time you only borrow. Love whisks you in through life's open door Nurturing you proudly, giving freedoms to explore. Years pass. Your hair turns gray. Aharvest moon candle lights your soul; An autumn breeze carries it away. Bowing branches and rippling hay. Endless Marathon The wind races on its endless marathon, Sweeping the earth with fresh air and song. It never seems to tire on the land or sea, Slowed down by mountains to a gentle breeze That carries the male pollen from tree to tree. How could we survive without our howling gales? No thunder, no lightning nor water for our pales. Wind is nothing more than a gift from above. Yes, you guessed it, "God's Marathon of Love." GARDENING IN OUR AREA a full time job." In a few weeks Kayla and her grandparents will spend a week at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, where she will be evaluated as a candidate for up to three treatment trials that could last the better part ofayear. To help with expenses a benefit will be held next Friday, Feb. 11, at Lake City Assembly of God, 400 E. Grace St. in Medical Lake. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. and is geared toward families, with karaoke, a dessert auction and a chance to meet Kayla. The fundraiser is being organized by Gerri Johnson, director of the Lake City Learning Center, which is the preschool Kyla was attending when she was first diagnosed. Johnson said she recently went to visit her former student at the Sacred Heart Children's Hospital, where Kayla was dressed up like Snow White this past summer by her grandparents in MedicLae, Kayla recently underwent her ........... sec0nd,amputation,due,,to.bonecancer. ................ :,.,,, : ............ .... ....... ......  ............... " Gardening experiments bring challenges, delights and invited her to join in a tea party. Johnson, who underwent brain sur- gery herself about a year ago, said the two showed each other their scars and caught up. "Ifs just amazing to see someone so little deal with such a tremendous thing," Johnson said. Along with the Medical lake fundraiser, the Spokane Police records de- partment has selected Kayla as their valentine this year and will be holding a bake sale and raffle to support her trip to Houston. Wiggins said Kayla would really like to meet Chief Anne Kirkpatrick "because she's a girl." Comments and donations for Kayla can be made online at www.give- Ryan Lancaster can be reached at Contributed photo by Kinlra Wiggins Five-year-old Kayla Wiggins walks with her great,grandmother Nancy during last year's Relay for Life in Cheney. By LaVERLE McCANDLESS Contributor "One day, the gardener realizes that what she is doing out there is actually teaching herself to garden" by preforming a series of experiments." Margaret Roach "He" should be included in the above quote. I would say Mar- garet Roach did something that was unexpected in her garden. As many of you know, I am a collector of quotes related to many subjects and will until the last day I am able to continue. Speaking of experiments, some of them are accidents of na- ture and most of them are called "sports." This "sport" will be part of the plant, a new branch, a new bublet, a new corm or a tuber, but there will be either a great difference or a subtle difference. We were very fortunate to have a sport from one of the gladiolus which in our eyes was even more gorgeous than the Mother Corm. If you see a variation of your plant, make sure it isn't a diseased part first. It could be a sport, it may not be. Have a plant specialist The indoor plants check it out. Take pictures from every direction possible. Who are starting to send out knows, someone may just have lots of new leaves, now one of those"new color, new leaf could be the time to re- structure, something that is a bit different, yet part of the same pot. take cuttings and plant" and get to name it. also give your plants Some plant scientists could talk for hours on the subject a bath if you haven't of "sport plants." You can't done sosince late sum- make a "sport," this plant is a mer or fall. bit of a fluke of nature by mix- ing up something in the bulb, corm, root, stem, and whatever is supporting the "sport." Rereading some of Luther Burbank's biography was quite interesting. I was researching some fruit and decided to take another path as L. Burbank has been a favorite of mine. What I had forgotten was: The Russet Burbank potato (with the rus- setted skin) as we know it today is a "sport" of the original Burbank potato he developed. Groundhog day has come and gone already so now we know what the groundhog has to say about the weather but remember no matter what, spring is still six weeks and a few days away. This short month can be a busy month for celebrants. There is Valentine's Day, Presidents Day, now combined from George Washington and Lincoln's birthdays and in many families, an- niversaries and birthdays. You still have plenty of time to sketch or re-sketch your garden plan, change your minds about what you were going to do and decided "this year it will be differ- ent" and make a new plan. The indoor plants are starting to send out lots of new leaves now could be the time to re-pot, take cuttings and also giv e your plants a bath if you haven't done so since late summer or fall. Plants do like to have their leaves washed or rinsed off with room temperature water. The days are getting longer and sometimes those pesky little livestock (insects) come sneaking around, no matter how hard you cleaned, washed and,dusted. those plants that were brought in from outside. , Questions and comments should be directed to LaVerle at (509) 455-7568 or