Block party fundraiser planned Saturday, January 11; more events planned
“I couldn’t hold back the tears…It’s amazing to think you have an entire community supporting us and loving us so deeply.” –Bree Rowand
By Janis Mork, Sharon A. Penny, and Miriam Raftery
January 10, 2014 (Alpine) -- Anyone who has been to Alpine in the last week has noticed the many pink ribbons dotting the community, with signs supporting a special young girl named Kylie Rowand battling cancer.
The day after Christmas, Kylie’s parents, Luke and Bree, took her to the doctor for what they thought was an infection in a swollen eye. Soon after, the young couple got the most devastating news any parent could receive: their beautiful,19-month old girl has cancerous tumors in her head and face, on her spleen, more on her liver, pelvic bone, spine, and bones in both legs. Though the details are frightening, there is hope. This week the family learned that another local child diagnosed in April with stage 4 neuroblastoma is now cancer free.
A community campaign began to help this family in need. On January 4, Stephani Dennis of Stephani Dennis Photography organized “Paint the Town Pink for Kylie”, a ribbon pinning to help raise awareness and funds for Kylie’s treatment.
As of January 10, almost $42,000 has been raised to help with Kylie’s medical costs. The community of Alpine has rallied around this family, organizing a series of fundraising events ranging from a block party to a golf tournament. A prayer vigil was also held on Mt. Helix.
A block party fundraiser will be held this Saturday, January 11 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 1510 River Dance Court in Alpine, where raffle tickets will be sold to help the family. To learn how you can help with this event, visit www.alpinecommunitycenter.net. More upcoming events are listed at the end of this article.
“The community has been overwhelmingly supportive,” Kylie’s mother, Bree, told ECM. She expressed gratitude for the many businesses pitching in to help. “We are beyond blessed to call Alpine our home.” She was at the hospital when the Paint the Town Pink event occurred. On the next day, when she saw so many pink ribbons, she recalls, “I couldn’t hold back the tears. It’s amazing to think you have an entire community supporting us and loving us so deeply.” Even strangers have helped out, she added.
Neuroblastoma affects 8 million children a year under the age of 15, Bree said, adding that the cause is unknown. “Neuroblastoma is a very aggressive form of pediatric cancer and almost 70% of patients have advanced stage of the disease at the time of diagnosis.”
The family is hinging its hopes on an immunotherapy treatment now in a trial stage. “They are finding kids responding very well to this,” Bree explained. “Kylie will be going through this therapy when her chemo is finished.” Kylie finished her first cycle of chemo on January 3, with five more to go. The family has “great hope” for her future despite the long ordeal ahead.
For the next few weeks, the Alpine Farmers Market, held each Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm, will show its support by painting the market pink and set up a site for donations. Some of its vendors will provide proceeds to help Kylie and her family. Starting February 1, a booth at Alpine Farmer’s Market will sell angel pins, pink bracelets and raffle tickets ; donations of pink raffle prizes are also welcome; contact Cheri Taylor at email@example.com or call (619)813-5205.
A golf tournament has been set up on Kylie’s name. Starting at noon on Sunday, February 16, a fundraising golf tournament will take place at Cottonwood Golf Club. The cost is $100 per person, or $400 for a foursome. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/Prayersforkyliegolftournament.
Donations can be made at http://www.gofundme.com/Prayers-for-Kylie, where you can see pictures from Paint the Town Pink. You can also donate at California Bank and Trust, 2250 Alpine Blvd. in Alpine, where a special account has been set up for the family.
The Alpine Community Network was first to alert the community to this young family’s need; view the story at http://www.alpinecommunitynetwork.com/2014/01/19-month-old-kylie-diagnosed-with-stage-4-high-risk-neuroblastoma-lets-show-our-support-for-this-young-alpine-family/.