Apr

24

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : April 24, 2014

Funds raised go to kidney cancer research

Tom Green

Tom Green


By David Webb
Monitor Correspondent

KEMP–Retired firefighter Tom Green considered himself to be fit and healthy in 2009 when he noticed blood in his urine while on a vacation with his wife, Judy, in Canada in 2009.
Less than three years later, he died after losing a battle with an aggressive kidney cancer.
“He was in excellent condition,” Judy Green said. “He played golf three or four times each week. We would spend a month at a time in our RV on the road traveling. He had no idea anything was wrong.”
The retired couple decided to head home, but they stopped in Niagara Falls, where a doctor diagnosed the health problem as a prostate infection and prescribed antibiotics. In Ohio, he became ill, and another doctor diagnosed it as a kidney infection.
A kidney specialist finally diagnosed him with a genetic form of kidney cancer that is fatal, advising him he had only two years to live. After surgery and treatment, he managed to squeeze another nine months in before he died.
Green attributed the extra time she got to spend with her husband to the treatment he received at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center under the care of oncologist Dr. James Brugarolas. Green donated his body to the medical center for research purposes.
After his death in April 2012, she established the Tom Green Memorial Golf Tournament at Cedar Creek Country Club, to help raise funds for kidney cancer research at the medical center. The third annual tournament will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, April 26-27.
The tournaments raised a total of $9,800 during the first two years, and Green said she hopes to raise $6,000 this year.
“I would like to raise a little more money each year,” Green said. “I hope to eventually get up to at least $10,000 per year. All of the money raised goes to research. We are very proud of what we have been able to raise so far.”
Green said she believes the research at the medical center has already produced results, and Kemp Independent School District Superintendent Sam Swierc said he agrees.
Doctors diagnosed him in the summer of 2010 with the same cancer that killed Green and they also gave him only two years to live.
Swierc said doctors removed his left kidney, and he underwent a rigorous treatment plan under the care of Brugarolas.
He not only is still alive almost four years later, he is thriving. The most recent scan gave him, his family, friends and associates a reason to rejoice.
“I had really good news,” Swierc said. “I’ve been declared clear of cancer.”
Swierc said he had planned to attend the golf tournament this weekend to, but he will be out of town. The superintendent said the benefit has his support and he hopes golfers will participate to help raise money for continued research that has already helped save his life.
“I feel myself to be very fortunate to have had the care and treatment I did,” Swierc said.
For information about the benefit, call (903) 498-6761.
Cedar Creek Country Club is located at 18392 Country Club Dr., Kemp, TX 75143.

Apr

13

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : April 13, 2014

Courtesy Photo Michele Milligan, a quilter from Mesquite, is collecting T-shirts and patches to create special quilts for the Kemp family members of First Responder William Scott Tanksley, who died in the line of duty while assisting a motorist on an icy overpass Feb. 10 in Dallas.

Courtesy Photo
Michele Milligan, a quilter from Mesquite, is collecting T-shirts and patches to create special quilts for the Kemp family members of First Responder William Scott Tanksley, who died in the line of duty while assisting a motorist on an icy overpass Feb. 10 in Dallas.

Mesquite quilter responds to Tanksley funeral with comforting craft

Monitor Staff Reports
MESQUITE–A quilter, who was touched by the expression of grief and respect at the loss of Kemp resident and First Responder William Scott Tanksley answered a call from the Heroes Memorial Foundation to make a quilt for Scott’s family.
Michele Milligan, 41, read a Facebook message from a man seeking the creation of a quilt to honor Tanksley and she responded.
You see Milligan had seen the line of cars and emergency vehicles, police motorcycles and flags displayed on Feb. 17 for Tanksley motorcade on Northwest Highway.
The funeral procession for the Dallas firefighter passed right in front of her.
“I literally pulled over into the parking lot of the Jack in the Box and cried,” she told WFAA News. “I don’t know him; never met his family; but it touched me that all these people would honor this man in that way.”
So when the opportunity presented itself to do something, she did.
So far she has been able to collect T-shirts and patches from fire and police departments across Texas and the nation.
She put the work out online, and the message has spread to New York, California, Disneyland Arizona, Indianapolis and Andover, she said.
“These aren’t even all of them. I continue to get boxes and envelopes every day with patches and T-shirts in them. She’s going to continue to accept donations for the quilts through June 1.
“Then we will begin the planning phase for the quilts,” she said.
She plans to create one quilt for Scott’s widow and three smaller ones for his children. “It will be something they can hold on to,” she said.
One of her favorite T-shirts comes from Mississippi State University, where Scott played college baseball.
She expects the work to take six to eight months to complete with a few willing hands.
If anyone wants to donate a patch, they can be sent to Pieced Together Studios, C/O Michele Milligan, 15330 LBJ Frwy, Suite 421, Mesquite, TX 75150.

Apr

13

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : April 13, 2014

Courtesy Photo Eustace mother of six, Tristan Rhys, (second from left) holds her daughter, Seven, after picking up litter in a vacant Gun Barrel City lot. Also pictured are (from left) Sailor, Sassy, Pirate, and Tuesday (standing) holding Rad.

Courtesy Photo
Eustace mother of six, Tristan Rhys, (second from left) holds her daughter, Seven, after picking up litter in a vacant Gun Barrel City lot. Also pictured are (from left) Sailor, Sassy, Pirate, and Tuesday (standing) holding Rad.

Mom and children pick up litter in vacant lot

Special to The Monitor
EUSTACE–It’s often been said that laughter is contagious, but a Eustace woman and her six children learned a couple of weeks ago that good deeds are also contagious.
While traveling on State Highway 334 from Eustace into Gun Barrel City with her children, Tristan Rhys, of Eustace, saw something that needed attention.
After several days of windy weather, Rhys noticed a vacant lot next to Boots Liquor was strewn with trash and was an unsightly mess.
Before Rhys’ children knew what was happening, Sassy, 8, Pirate, 7, Sailor, 5, Rad, 3 and Seven, 2, their mother stopped at the vacant lot.
Rhys and her children did not know that Gun Barrel City adopted “The 10 on Tuesday” campaign (everyone picks up at least 10 pieces of trash every Tuesday), a project related to the Litter Reversal program and Don’t Mess with Texas.
Thanks to the conscientious Rhys, her children, and Boots Liquor store owner, an unsightly view soon became a nice clean field, no longer littered with trash.
All from one family, from another community who cared.