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Tag Archive | "cancer"

Fundraisers for Rickers and Emma Orr


 

See scheduled fundraisers below for children in our community suffering with cancer: teen brothers Brison and Preston Ricker, and second grader Emma Orr. Brison was diagnosed a year ago with an inoperable brain tumor called DIPG, and his brother Preston was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in December. Emma was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in the fall of 2015, and relapsed six months later.

Rickerstrong can drive

March 13: Rickerstrong can drive will be held Monday, March 13, at 5:30 p.m. at Meijer in Cedar Springs. It was rescheduled from Monday, March 6, due to the power outage.

25 cent event for Emma Orr

March 24: Come join the Beach elementary PTO in a fun night of shopping to help one of our students battling cancer for the second time. Booths will be set up with local direct sales consultants. Two raffle prizes will be available from each booth, each valued at a minimum of $25. Purchase 25-cent raffle tickets throughout the event and drop your tickets into the cup next to the raffle prize you wish to win. To make it even better, for every $10 spent at the booths, you will earn Golden Tickets. Golden Tickets get placed into a separate raffle drawing. One lucky winner will be announced at the end of the event. That lucky winner will receive a raffle prize valued at a minimum of $25 from EACH of the booths present. WOW! There will also be a custom Fight for Emma “No one fights alone” bracelet at the Plunder Design booth. Be sure to check that out.

Benefit BBQ dinner for Ricker family

March 25: Come out to the Peppermill Grill, 8 South Squires St., in Rockford, from 3-7 p.m. to support the Ricker brothers as they fight two separate cancers. $10 a plate will get you either a pulled pork BBQ or two hot dogs with homemade macaroni and cheese, baked beans and a beverage. All of the proceeds will go to the Ricker family! Carry out is also welcomed. T-shirts and wrist bands will be available for purchase. There will also be raffle tickets for basket drawings.

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Ricker family fundraisers


The Ricker Family

The Ricker Family

Various groups are putting on fundraisers over the next couple of weeks to help pay for medical bills for two teen brothers in our community that are battling cancer: Brison and Preston Ricker. Brison has an inoperable brain tumor (DIPG) and Preston recently had surgery for thyroid cancer. They are the sons of Brian and Kim Ricker, of Nelson Township. These are the ones we know about:

Varsity basketball fundraiser

FEB. 17: Please join the Cedar Springs Girls and Boys Basketball programs this Friday, February 17, as they host Forest Hills Central in a #rickerstrong game. Many activities are planned for the evening, which starts at 5:30 p.m. with the boys game. Please pack these stands and bring your wallets as we come together to raise money for this awesome family that is battling cancer! We will have a 50/50, raffling off these fabulous corn hole boards that Steve Elliston made and painted by hand and donated, as well as some half time shooting. It is also Senior Night-the last night these senior boys and girls will suit up and play in the Red Hawk gym.

FFA Silent Auction

FEB. 17-24: The FFA at Cedar Springs High School is holding a series of fundraisers for the Ricker family, in conjunction with National FFA week. The first is a silent auction at both Family Farm and Home and Quality Farm and Fleet, and starts this Friday, February 17 and runs until February 24. Several businesses have donated items, and the FFA will also include some of their own homemade maple syrup and pancake mix in the baskets. They hope to have a couple of tables set up at each store, so stop in at both stores and bid on your favorite items.

Movie at the Kent Theatre: Miracles from Heaven

FEB. 22: The FFA is sponsoring the movie “Miracles from Heaven” at the Kent Theatre on Wednesday, February 22, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $3. All proceeds from ticket sales and a portion of concession sales will go to the Ricker family. A donation jar will also be set up for anyone wishing to donate more to the family’s medical expenses. The movie, starring Jennifer Garner, is based on the true story of a young girl who was miraculously cured from her illness.

Spaghetti dinner 

FEB. 26: Classic Kelly’s Family Restaurant, 356 N. Main Street, Cedar Springs, is holding a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for the Ricker family on Sunday, February 26, from 6-8:30 p.m. They will provide either a sit down or take out dinner for $10 each, with all proceeds going to the Ricker family. #Rickerstrong t-shirts will also be available to buy that night.

Dinner at Culver’s

FEB. 28: The FFA is holding a fundraising dinner for the Rickers at Culver’s of Comstock Park, located at 4280 Alpine, on Tuesday, February 28, from 5-30-8 p.m. Ten percent of proceeds will go to the Ricker family.

Other things the FFA is doing to support the Ricker family include selling bracelets at the high school that say  “Farming for a cause #rickerstrong” and running a “Kiss the Pig” contest in classrooms. For the Kiss the Pig contest, 24 piggybanks have been set up in various classrooms. According to teacher Larry Reyburn, the top five classrooms that collect the most change will win, and those lucky teachers will get to kiss a baby pig supplied by the FFA. Paper money doesn’t count, so if they don’t want to kiss the pig, they can stuff the piggyback with dollar bills. Fun stuff! FFA students Heather Beverwyk and Kate Hall have been in charge of organizing the current FFA fundraisers for the Ricker family.

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Community pulls together for brothers battling cancer


Carts full of cans were lined up inside and outside the Cedar Springs Meijer store Monday and Tuesday, as volunteers worked to feed over 86,000 of them into the machines. Photo courtesy of Team Rickerstrong.

Carts full of cans were lined up inside and outside the Cedar Springs Meijer store Monday and Tuesday, as volunteers worked to feed over 86,000 of them into the machines. Photo courtesy of Team Rickerstrong.

Teen Brison Ricker, who suffers from an inoperable brain tumor, is getting better with the alternative treatments he is getting from the Burzynski Clinic in Texas. Photo from the Ricker’s gofundme page.

Teen Brison Ricker, who suffers from an inoperable brain tumor, is getting better with the alternative treatments he is getting from the Burzynski Clinic in Texas. Photo from the Ricker’s gofundme page.

By Judy Reed

The greater Cedar Springs community has shown their support over the last nine months for the family of Brison and Preston Ricker, two teen brothers fighting cancer, but the massive number of cans donated at their annual can drive at Meijer this week took everyone by surprise.

This month’s drive started at 5 p.m. Monday, and by 11 p.m. Monday evening, they had to stop counting. Volunteers returned on Tuesday evening, hoping to finish it off. But the cans kept coming, and at last count, over 86,000 cans were donated, and they still have a trailer that is 2/3 full of cans that they are holding until next month.

“We knew that this month’s can drive would be a larger turnout but honestly we were pleasantly shocked at the amount of cans that kept coming throughout the first night and continued again the second night,” said Melissa Egan, of Team Rickerstrong. “It was such a great thing to witness. So many people continue to support Brison in his fight by faithfully donating each month, but when Preston also was diagnosed…the support doubled and that is why we believe it was so much more successful.”

Egan said that they cannot express appreciation enough for the continued support from not only our community, but surrounding communities. “The love, prayers and support for this family is truly amazing. And who would have thought that a can drive that originally started as a way to possibly raise a quick $500 here or there would turn into a monthly fundraiser that has now brought over $30,000! Each month we have loyal volunteers that help feed machines or empty returnables into carts…ranging from adults to kids, all wanting to support the Ricker family.”

Team Rickerstrong started the once a month can drives in July, when the family took Brison to Texas to be seen and treated at the Burzynski Clinic. Dr. Burzynski offered an alternative treatment for Brison’s inoperable brain tumor (DIPG), which conventional treatment could not eradicate. He had been given only months to live. But this alternative costs $17,000 a month, paid up front. And it is not covered under insurance. The good news is that it is working, and Brison is feeling better than he has in months, according to his mom, Kim Ricker. He is eating again, and getting stronger, but not yet walking on his own. He even went to Swirl last weekend, which she said made him really happy.

Preston, who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in December, and had it surgically removed in January, is recovering, and will soon start radioactive iodine therapy.

Kim was also thankful for the success of this week’s can drive. “It was incredible to see the out pouring of love and support with all the cans that were donated! Although a majority of them came from this amazing community, we had people from surrounding communities and even as far as Caledonia donating their cans. We feel so blessed and are truly grateful to everyone who donated, and all the people who worked so hard getting over 86,000 cans put in the machines. Of course a huge thanks to Meijer, we could do not do this without their support,” she added.

The Rickers are faced with needing a minimum of $17,000 every month for Brison’s treatment. “This has to be paid up front; it is not like normal hospital bills that can accumulate and be paid back over years,” explained Kim. “If we don’t pay, Brison doesn’t get his treatment. Although the can drive was a huge success and raised more than we could have imagined, that amount covers two weeks of treatment, so the need to keep raising funds is great.”

If you would like to donate, you can visit their gofundme page at https://www.gofundme.com/rickerstrong, or participate in a fundraiser with Team Rickerstrong at https://www.facebook.com/teambrison/. You can also or send a check to them at 5370 Dio Dr., Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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Cancer’s Nature Niche


 

Ranger Steve Mueller

Ranger Steve Mueller

By Ranger Steve Mueller

 

We choose how we live but not how long. Choices help us survive difficult circumstances. Having purpose and serving others makes a world of difference. I struggle to survive to help human people live in balance with what I consider creation’s animal and plant people. We are charged with caring for all species of creation’s people.

I have commented on cancer aspects but not from a nature niche perspective. My desire is to die a “natural death” instead of an “accidental death” like an automobile accident. I consider my cancer a natural death.

By the time I was in high school, chasing and studying butterflies helped me understand essentials for maintaining a sustainable environment to support future human generations and a healthy society. My survival’s not essential but I hope society’s current behavior helps humans born 100 generations (2000 years) hence inherit a healthy sustainable environment.

There are many natural controls that prevent plant and animal “people” populations from becoming excessively large. Controls create balance that helps maintain a healthy environment for future generations. In the absence of natural predators, deer have become too numerous and have eliminated wildflowers, reduced insect crop pollinators, birds, and other species of value for society.

Cancer is one limiting factor that works on human, plant, and animal “people” to help balance natality (population growth rate) with mortality (death rate). We have been successful in helping humans increase beyond Earth’s long-term carrying capacity. We could be thankful for natural controls that kill us and in effect help insure future generations will inherit a healthy sustainable planet for long-term survival. Of course, we want to live so appreciation for natural causes of death is not likely.

Many cancers are human caused by careless use of natural resources that cause pollution of air, water and land. Cancer is a form of our body going haywire and attacking itself. Causes might be environmentally induced or bodies might malfunction naturally for undetermined reasons. My multiple myeloma cause is unknown.

Some people grow old “old” and others grow old “young.” A friend grew old in old age, gradually lost sight, weakened and died at 101. My body was found to be eating itself with cancer when I was 47. I grew old young. Average survival for this cancer is 7 to 8 years with new treatments. I am in year 19. I like to attribute my extended survival to new treatments and to having a purpose for living.

Meanwhile, many people do not take simple steps to reduce natality to maintain a smaller sustainable human population. My children and I have waited until we were in our thirties to have children. That effectively reduces our families to three per century instead of five and reduces the living population by 40 percent. Reducing family size to two children is effective without depending on cancer and other unfavorable controls.

My purposeful living efforts enhance biodiversity at Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, assist in small ways with local, state, national Lepidoptera organizations, Audubon Society, Wild Ones, land conservancies, nature center naturalists, and Creation Care efforts. Those activities provide cancer control. I continue to advocate the importance of biosphere ecology for balancing natality and mortality through self-control instead of disease.

Cancer is a body’s self-destructive activity that consumes one’s life. For some it is quick and for others prolonged. My treatment kills by causing lung, heart, liver, or other organ damage. The gamble has two choices: 1) let cancer growth kill or 2) use treatments that will potentially kill while it slows cancer growth. The chemo seems almost as bad as the cancer but family tells me otherwise. It’s a “Catch 22.”

Balancing natality with mortality will help grandchildren 100 generations hence maintain a sustainable environmental quality. Cancer has a positive value even if we do not like it.

Personally, I struggle with the choice to let cancer grow or use treatments to survive so I can help change current behavior to support future generations. My choice has been to have three generations per century instead of five for our family. Hopefully others will choose to strive for Creation Care. If my message is ineffective, it might be time for me to depart.

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net – Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr. Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or call 616-696-1753.

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Community raises funds for Ricker family


The Ricker family, L to R: Preston, Brian, Brison, and Kim Ricker.

The Ricker family, L to R: Preston, Brian, Brison, and Kim Ricker.

By Judy Reed

Cedar Springs Brewing Company was the place to be Monday evening, as the community came out to show its support for brothers Brison and Preston Ricker, who are both battling cancer, and their parents, Brian and Kim.

CS Brewing donated 10 percent of sales proceeds and had a donation box set up for extra donations for the family. With sales and donations combined, they raised $3,300 for the Ricker family’s medical fund.

Cedar Springs Brewing Company was packed Monday evening as people flooded in to support the Ricker family in a fundraiser. Photo from CS Brewing Facebook page.

Cedar Springs Brewing Company was packed Monday evening as people flooded in to support the Ricker family in a fundraiser. Photo from CS Brewing Facebook page.

“The place was packed and everyone was very patient as our crew worked their tails off to serve as many people as possible,” said owner David Ringler, in a Facebook post. “Thank you to our wonderful community for your generous support!”

Kim was also thankful. “We feel incredibly blessed to live in such an amazing community with so many caring and kind people,” she said. “We are grateful to Cedar Springs Brewing Company for holding the event, all the employees who worked so hard, and everyone who showed up to support our family and make it such a successful night!”

Brison was diagnosed a year ago with an inoperable brain tumor – DIPG. Conventional treatment did not work, and doctors here had nothing left they could do. The Rickers then sought alternative treatment at the Burzynski Clinic in Texas. His treatments cost $17,000 per week, but the tumor has shrunk, and the medication is working. “Brison is continuing to push hard with physical therapy and getting stronger and more mobile everyday,” remarked Kim.

Then, as the Post reported back at the end of December, Brison’s brother, Preston, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He recently had surgery to remove his thyroid and several lymph nodes on each side of his neck. “Preston is doing well and will do radioactive iodine in three weeks or so,” said Kim.

It’s been a big blow to a family that has already had to endure more than their share of trials. But their faith in God and support of the community is what carries them through. (Also see the WM Pursuit story on page 10 to see how the wrestling community has recently raised funds for the Ricker family.)

If you would like to help this family, you can donate through their gofundme page at https://www.gofundme.com/rickerstrong and follow the Team Rickerstrong page on Facebook for fundraising updates.

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TODD HILL


C-obit-hill

Todd Michael Hill, 54 of White Cloud passed away peacefully, Thursday, April 14, 2016 in his sleep in the arms of his loving wife, Thelma Hill from cancer. Todd was born August 29, 1961 in Grand Rapids, MI the son of Terry and Sally (McCoy) Hill. He was raised in Cedar Springs and spent the last 12 years in White Cloud. Todd was a very loving Papa who loved his grandchildren. He coached his granddaughter Mackenzie’s Pee-Wee baseball team from 2010-12. Todd is survived by his wife, Thelma; children, Rodney, Frances (Rook), Paula (Bobby), Bowzer, (Julia); granddaughters, Rhea, Neisha, Rosie, Jamie, Buffy, Mackenzie, Cadence, Krista and Madison; grandsons, William, Alex, Dustin, Rookie, Paul (P.J.), Shawn; great grandson, Adam (A.J.); father, Terry (Karen) Hill; mother, Sally (Don) Groters; sisters, Terri (Tom) Venman, Traci (Carlos) Beals; brother, Charlie Hill; aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. Longtime friends, Dan Robinson, Joe (Lisa) Magnan, Amber, Joan Defreese and many other friends from Cascade Engineering, Royal Plastics and Emerald Graphics. The family greeted friends Monday, April 18 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where the service was held Tuesday 2:00 pm. Marj Timmerman officiating. Interment Amble Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Lemmen-Holton Cancer Research, 145 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

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CTA Family Strong Fundraiser


 

When people think of CTA, one of the first things that comes to mind is that it is like a small family, so when one of the “family members” was in need, CTA stepped up to the plate. The Bishop family recently received a cancer diagnosis for one of their daughters and CTA designated them the recipient of the #CTAfamilystrong treatment at a recent CTA basketball game at Grace Bible College. Not only did the CTA basketball teams put their best foot forward and win for both the boys and girls games, there were fundraising games for the kids as well as a silent auction to raise money for the Bishop family. In all, the CTA Family Strong fundraiser raised almost $6,000 for the family to put towards transportation and medical costs as they move forward with treatment. A heartfelt thank you to all involved to make this benefit such a huge success!

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TIMOTHY RAMA


 

Timothy Rama, 59 of Sand Lake went to be with the Lord on Monday, November 23, 2015 at Spectrum Health Butterworth Campus after a long battle with cancer. Tim was born September 7, 1956 in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Leo and Mona (Vicchio) Rama. Surviving are his sister, Diane (Larry) Jenkins; brothers, Dan, Jack, and Jeff Rama; several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, and a brother, Mike in 2013. Cremation has taken place and there will be no services.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs.

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Scott Hazel Memorial Game 


The Cedar Springs Varsity Soccer Team will play the Rockford Rams in a purple game on April 16 to commemorate the memory of Scott Hazel.

The Cedar Springs Varsity Soccer Team will play the Rockford Rams in a purple game on April 16 to commemorate the memory of Scott Hazel.

Cedar Springs and Rockford soccer teams honor teacher

The Scott Hazel Memorial Game will be hosted by the Rockford Rams on April 16 at 7 p.m. (The JV game will be played immediately prior to this game.)

Scott Hazel lost his battle against cancer last summer. The Rams and the Red Hawks are coming together to raise money for the Purple Community in his memory. Mr. Hazel coached soccer at both Rockford and Cedar Springs at various levels, and was a well-known and much loved teacher in Cedar Springs.

Yes, there will be a game but this night will be so much more as both communities come together to honor Scott Hazel and raise money for cancer research in memory of him.

Rockford’s school colors are orange and black and Cedar Springs are red and black. However, on April 16, both communities will come together in a sea of purple for the man who influenced so many.

 

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Lynch Syndrome hereditary cancer awareness week


 

From the Michigan Dept. of Community Health

For the first time, the entire week of March 22-28, 2015 has been proclaimed Lynch Syndrome Hereditary Cancer Awareness Week by Gov. Rick Snyder and the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) to promote the importance of Lynch Syndrome (LS) screening for newly-diagnosed colorectal cancer patients and their families.

Lynch syndrome, also known as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), is an inherited disorder associated with higher risks of developing colorectal, endometrial, ovarian, pancreatic, and other types of cancer. Approximately 1 in every 35 colorectal cancer patients has LS. First-degree relatives of LS patients have a 50 percent risk of having the condition as well.

The efforts to increase LS awareness in Michigan are supported by a newly-awarded cooperative agreement between MDCH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The five-year project expands existing state resources to advance partnerships, work with policymakers, and educate health providers and the public about LS and genetic screening, with the ultimate goal of reducing overall cancer death rates in the state.

“Lynch Syndrome Hereditary Cancer Awareness Week launches our efforts to put needed focus on hereditary cancers caused by this condition,” said Matthew Davis, Michigan’s Chief Medical Executive. “One of the Healthy People 2020 genomics objectives is to increase the number of newly-diagnosed colorectal cancer patients who receive genetic counseling and evaluation for LS. Our state is already at the forefront of cancer genomics in public health, and the new agreement with the CDC helps us expand the scope of our work to achieve this goal.”

Genetic testing for LS helps determine whether a patient’s colorectal cancer is inherited and whether family members have a higher risk of developing LS-associated cancers. Having this knowledge is the first step in early intervention and cancer prevention measures that could protect the health of at-risk relatives.

“My mom had both uterine and colon cancer when she was 54; she is now 79. Thirteen of her family members died of cancer, most of which were Lynch syndrome-related,” said Sherry Berry, a Lynch Syndrome cancer survivor and advocate. “About five years ago, when I was 48, I was found to have colon cancer. My doctor asked if I wanted genetic testing, and I was found to have Lynch syndrome. If I had known I had LS earlier, my stage 3 colon cancer could have been prevented. Maybe I wouldn’t have needed chemo and wouldn’t have had complications that led to a forced retirement. If my mom’s relatives had known about LS earlier, maybe more would be alive today.”

Based on national evidence-based recommendations, LS screening should be considered for Michigan patients who are newly-diagnosed with colorectal cancer, for the benefit of family members. In addition, Michigan residents are encouraged to discuss their family health history with their healthcare providers to assess if they are at risk for hereditary cancer conditions such as Lynch syndrome.

“Know your family history and make sure your doctor knows your family history. It is of vital importance that doctors act now on critical family history information by considering referral to cancer genetic services,” added Berry. “This action can save lives! If cancer runs heavily in your family, be sure to tell your doctor and consider genetic counseling and testing.”

For more information about Lynch syndrome or hereditary cancer, visit http://www.cdc.gov/Features/LynchSyndrome or www.lynchcancers.org.

The MCGA maintains a list of Michigan clinics that provide cancer genetic counseling and test coordination. To see the directory, visit https://migrc.org/Library/MCGA/MCGADirectory.html.

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