Friday, September 27, 2013

Grove girl undergoes treatment for brain tumor

Angelica Wilson, 8, plays
with her kitten Molly,
in front of her home. Wilson,
a third grader from Grove, underwent
a new laser ablation procedure on
Friday, Aug. 30, to remove a brain tumor,
at Cook's Children's Hospital
in Fort Worth, Texas.
In August, 8-year-old Angelica Wilson made history.

Oh, she didn't cure cancer, or negotiate a peace treaty - that may come when she gets older.

What she did do, is become the first child to undergo a new form of brain surgery at Cook's Children's Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas.

Now, less than a month later, she is back at home in Grove, ready to take on the world.

The journey to Wilson's surgery began earlier this summer, when she was found in a swimming pool unconscious during a birthday party.

This was the second time Wilson passed out. The first, took place in May 2012, on the playground of the Grove Lower Elementary School.

At the time, explained her mother, Carey Wilson, doctors did not find anything wrong with Wilson. She exhibited no additional symptoms.

In June, after Wilson passed out again, her pediatrician at the Cherokee Nation Health Center in Vinita, Okla., Nicole Willis, decided to order a new round of tests.

This time, it came back conclusively. Wilson had a brain tumor deep within the cerebellum of her brain. After further tests at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Carey and her husband, John, were given three options for further care.

They chose to pursue treatment at Cook's Children's Hospital, because of the different options available for neurosurgery - including the use of an Inter-operative MRI scan, which allows surgeons to perform scans within the operating room, during surgery.

On August 30, Dr. John Honeycutt, the medical director for neurosurgery at Cook's Children's Hospital, performed a thermal ablation on Wilson.

In the past, the procedure would have required Honeycutt to perform a full craniotomy to remove the brain tumor. Using the new surgery, he made one incision and used a thermal laser to heat the tumor and remove the tissue.

This is the third time this form of surgery, using a Visualse machine, was completed at Cooks. Wilson was the first to undergo it to remove a brain tumor.

While a biopsy showed the tumor to be benign, Honeycutt wanted to remove the tumor because of the potential for complications as Wilson aged and the tumor grew larger.

Honeycutt said he chose to utilize the new procedure because of the location of the tumor, its size, and shape. The tumor being benign also impacted the decision to use the laser ablation.

"It lent itself to the perfect setup for treatment with this new technology," Honeycutt said. "If it didn't work, we had the ability to watch over time, and correct it with other methods."

While ablation procedures were available in the past, the equipment used electrical currents. Honeycutt said the laser helps make the treatment more accurate and reliable.

After the surgery, Wilson spent time in the rehabilitation wing of Cook's Children Hospital, undergoing physical, occupational and speech therapy.

While she has not had any issues related to her speech, the surgery has impacted Wilson's balance and fine motor skills. Her mother helps her walk using a gait belt. It will take between three to six months for the brain swelling to heal, and be more than a year from now before she is allowed to run or do anything beyond walking.

Wilson was discharged from Cooks on Fri., Sept. 20. She spent the last few days getting back into a routine at home. She also stopped by the Lower Elementary and saw her classmates in Barbara Couch's third grade class.

As of now, Wilson will stay at home and receive tutoring through the homebound program. On the days her mother works, she'll go to the Noah's Ark Day Care in Grove.

Carey Wilson said the daycare is a familiar environment for Wilson, and will give her a place to do her homebound homework assignments in a smaller setting.

Wilson will also undergo physical and occupational therapy at least three times each week. She hopes to return to her class at the Lower Elementary in January.

"The beauty of all of this, is that she really went with the flow," Carey Wilson said. "She never really freaked out.

"She was a little homesick at first for her pets - but friends sent pictures. She had a great attitude."

The fact that Cooks used therapy dogs, as part of Wilson's treatment, helped alleviate the homesickness, explained Carey Wilson.

"The first thing she wanted to do when we got home, was to see her dogs," Carey Wilson said. "They were already outside, and she sat down on the ground and started to pet them."

For now, Wilson's prognosis is good. Honeycutt said they will continue to monitor her health for many years.

"This was a miracle," Carey Wilson said. "God has watched over her."

Carey Wilson works as an office manager for the Cherokee Nation Health Center in Vinita. John Wilson is an over-the-road truck driver for Werner Enterprises. His primary responsibly is to make deliveries to Dollar General Stores.

For more information, or to follow Wilson's journey, persons interested may visit www.facebook.com/prayerwarriors4angelica.

Kaylea M. Hutson is the managing editor of The Grove Sun. She can be reached at kaylea.hutson@grovesun.com or 918-786-2228. This story originally appeared in the Sept. 27, 2013 issue of The Grove Sun. 

Bits & Pieces: The Bits of Life

Sometimes my job, as managing editor, is well, full of surprises. Last Saturday was no exception.

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of interviewing Bessie Kinion, a member of REC who was literally there, when the lights first came on at her farm in rural Adair.

Kinion was a hoot to meet. She was at REC Day with her granddaughter and great-great granddaughter, along with other family members.

Kinion reminded me of my grandmother. She has such a positive spirit, and I could tell, would be a hoot to hang out with.

I loved hearing her stories - I wish we would have had more time to talk - about watching the REC guys hand dig the holes for the electric poles.

I also loved knowing what her first electrical appliance was - an iron. She was tired of ironing jeans and other clothing items for her family with those "sad" irons that needed to be warmed on the stovetop.

Thank you Bessie, for sharing your stories, and taking time out of the festivities to talk with me during REC Day.

Sails and more

Saturday also included a first - my first "sailboat race" on Grand Lake.

While I wasn't on the sailboat, I had a chance to ride on the "press boat" thanks to Kurt and Patsy Hagen, and "chase" the action from start to finish.

While the race was a bit longer than I anticipated - three hours - it was so nice to ride on the boat, watch the teams do different things - who knew someone might hang off of a boat - and well, listen as Kurt explained the action.

After three hours on the lake, I was a bit wind-swept, sunburned and well, relaxed. I also took more than 800 photos along the way. I've narrowed it down to about 70 - so if you like sailboats and water, you might want to check it out.

Thanks to the Grove Rotary Club and the Grand Lake Sailing Club for making the outing possible. The race, which put Mark Gardner and the Peacemaker up against Mark Simmons and The Eagle, was auctioned off as part of this year's Lobsterfest. So a fun outing that had a double benefit - it raised $2,000 to help local non-profits. Double kuddos to the groups.

Rock The Runway

My camera got another workout on Tuesday night, as seniors from Grove High School "rocked" the runway during the 2014 Project Graduation fundraiser sponsored by Photography by Katherine and others.

It was fun to watch the seniors - 35 in all - strut their stuff on the catwalk. Some had a few surprises in their "walk" I personally loved the couple who stopped at the end of the runway to take a "selfie" - a photo of themselves with a cell phone - and the guy who walked the runway on his hands.

Kudos to the seniors and everyone involved who helped raise at least $600 for next spring's project graduation, Judging by the audience response, next year's event will need a bigger venue.

Most Inspirational Woman

So, have you thought about who has inspired you? Have you taken time to submit a nomination for the 2013 Grand Lake's Most Inspirational Woman contest? If not, what are you waiting for? We're accepting nominations at www.grandlakenews.com/women. The winner of this year's contest will receive, among other prizes, a $150 spa treatment at Ne├ęSpa at Downstream Casino. The deadline to submit a nomination Monday, Sept. 30.

Have fun this weekend. If you capture a shot at Pelican Festival this weekend, submit your favorite photo - and what's happening in it - to me at news@grovesun.com. We'll showcase our favorite pics next week.

Kaylea M. Hutson is the managing editor of The Grove Sun. She can be reached at kaylea.hutson@grovesun.com or 918-786-2228. This column originally appeared in the Sept. 27, 2013 issue of The Grove Sun. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Blog Tour: Trapped (Review)


Irene Hannon has done it again. She has taken her skills as a mystery writer, and crafted a novel that is suspenseful, full of intrigue and kept my interest.

Trapped is the second of Hannon's third series witth Revell Books. The first series revolved around the military, the second, pulled in law enforcement/FBI guys.

This series, Private Justice, focuses on a trio of guys who run a private investigative service in St. Louis - with a variety of law enforcement/military experience in their backgrounds - and the women who come into their lives via their work.

I am a fan of Hannon's work. She's one of four Christian suspense authors I follow with dedication. The fact that her novels are set in Missouri, well, that adds an additional layer I appreciate.

She reminds me some of Dee Henderson, another suspense writer, who captured my attention more than a decade ago. In fact, one of the reasons Hannon caught my eye, with her first full-length novel, is because Henderson "endorsed" her work. She's definitely a must read for fans of Henderson.

This novel focuses on Laura Griffith, a sister desperate to find her 16-year-old sister who disappeared on a frigid February day in St. Louis.

Laura decides to do whatever it takes to find the runaway, even if it involves recruiting an ATF agent turned private investigator, James Devlin to help.

What starts as the case of a missing teen, who appears to be a runaway, evolves into something sinister and at times, gut wrenching. If anything, it also shows how one decision, which seems simple at the time, can lead to circumstances beyond a person's control.

Trapped has intrigue, suspense and of course, a dash of romance. Once again, the romance is tempered by the main focus of the story - the mystery.

On a scale of one to five, I give this series a solid four, and this novel, a four. Once again, Hannon created a book that held my attention, and captured my interest from start to finish.

About The Author

Irene Hannon is the author of more than 35 novels, including the bestselling Heroes of Quantico and Guardians of Justice series.

Her books have been honored with two coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, a Carol Award, a HOLT Medallion, a Daphne du Maurier Award, and two Reviewers' Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine. Booklist also included one of her novels in its "Top 10 Inspirational Fiction" list for 2011. She lives in Missouri.

For more information about Hannon or her books, visit www.irenehannon.com.

Online Resources
Buy it on Amazon
Read an excerpt online
Download the book club reading guide

Note: As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group. This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, September 20, 2013

Bits & Pieces: Who inspires you?

As I've been getting ready for the Inspirational Woman contest we're sponsoring in conjunction with next month's Women's Fair, I've had a chance to talk to several people about the women who inspire them.

The reasons vary, but there is a constant theme. The "inspirational" women mention challenge, love and, well, find a way to influence people, in a variety of ways.

It made me think about the inspirational women in my life. I've been very blessed to have a plethora of women encourage me, challenge me, and support me during the last few (um, we'll skip the number) years.

Women like Katie Struckhoff, who has been my "forever friend" since 1988, when I was a geeky high schooler at church camp. Katie inspires me by her dedication to her faith, and to her first-grade students. She also inspires me because of the positive attitude she continues to have, despite life's challenging moments.

Or someone like Jan Duncan, who was there for me when I needed someone most—again, those awkward, rough, middle and high school years. Jan listened, cared and offered encouragement. (Let's face it, I was probably one of those "extra-grace required" teens.

I'm also inspired by women like my new sister-paper editor, Janet Barber. She inspires me by her outlook on life, how she faces things with grace, and also helps keep my feet to the ground. She's not afraid to "tell me like it is" or to say "have you thought about it this way." I'm blessed to call her a friend and colleague.

My friend Denni Palmer inspires me. She's a mom raising five kidlets who call me "Auntie K" (yes, the picture is on my desk). She was balancing life with her two girls and a full-time ministry position, when life, well changed. Their family expanded, unexpectedly—and amazingly—with three additional children through a family adoption. She inspires me as she follows God's call to pastor a small church, raise five amazing kids and walk alongside her husband, who is also a pastor.

Locally, I'm inspired by the gumption Sharon Lebow has shown me in the last few weeks. Sharon is taking a computer class at the NEO-Grove campus, in order to learn a new skill. She inspires me to never quit learning and to continue to find ways to improve myself. Kudos to my new friend. FYI I know you can do this!

I'd probably be remiss if I didn't mention my mom. Mom inspires me, by her attitude for life, and also by how she strives to be a great Oma for my nephew. (OK, where was this laid-back spirit when she was raising me???!) My mom has faced a lot of challenges in life, and is now embracing retirement. I hear joy in her voice as she talks about new experiences with her church and volunteer opportunities.

So what women inspire you? If you have a local inspirational woman, I would challenge you to nominate her for the 2013 Grand Lake's Most Inspirational Woman contest.

To nominate someone for the contest (the deadline is Sept. 30), visit www.grandlakenews.com/women and complete the form. We ask that you submit contact information for both yourself and the nominee, along with a photo of nominee. We also ask that you write up to 250 words, explaining why you find this woman to be inspirational.

Speaking of inspirational things, two quick notes.... I was inspired to sit through a Mass at St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church last Sunday, as the congregation honored first responders from Grove. I know I often say "it's nice to live in a community that...." (trust me, the community aspect wasn't there necessarily in Little Rock); but it was nice to sit in a congregation that wanted to take a few moments to encourage and bless people who often help us in our worst moments in life.

The other note... I've been "inspired" by my Aunt Janice, to say "Have you tried JJ's Wing'n'it in Grove?" Apparently my aunt, and JJ's grandmother, are cohorts in the retired-teacher circle in Kansas City. Apparently, the "small world" aspect in life, and the fact that both have significant others in Grove became a topic of a gathering last week. So JJ, please tell you grandmother that I have tried your food (love the boneless wings), and here's your mention in my column.

So happy Friday. Enjoy REC Day and more this weekend. Hopefully I'll see you around town!
 
Kaylea M. Hutson is the managing editor of The Grove Sun. She can be reached at kaylea.hutson@grovesun.com or 918-786-2228. This column originally appeared in the Sept. 20, 2013 issue of The Grove Sun

Friday, September 13, 2013

Bits & Pieces: Traditions

Traditions. I heard this word a lot this week, especially as it applied to homecoming including homecoming at Grove High School.

For those not in the "loop" here's the issue in a nutshell. Two years ago, the GHS student council polled students and made changes to the traditional format of homecoming.

Rather than have four ceremonies, during the school year—representing band, football, wrestling and basketball—the student body instead chose to hold one school-wide event. Representatives in the ceremony would come from every organization, rather than a few, allowing more students to be recognized in the time-honored tradition known as homecoming.

On Tuesday, adults and students, some led in part by an online petition drive, approached the school board to return the ceremony back to its traditional format of years past.

Two columnists in today's edition lay out both sides of the issue succinctly. Feedback on the various posts related to the topic on The Grove Sun's Facebook page shows a sampling of the thoughts of the community.

To say this is an issue many are passionate about is putting it mildly.

But here's the deal. Like it or lump it, the decision has been made. The school board has decided the course of action for this school year.

Homecoming on Oct. 11 will continue to be the "new version" put in place two years ago by the student government. Think of it as Homecoming 2.0. Nothing wrong with it, it's just had some improvements and looks different. Homecoming 3.0 will not be unveiled until 2014.

Girls (and guys) are now in the process of being tapped to represent various clubs at the ceremony. Some are already looking for the perfect outfit and dreaming of standing under the Friday night lights.

It is my hope, regardless of what side of the issue you stand on, that we as a community find away to uphold the best homecoming tradition of all—honoring and supporting the current students involved in this year's event.

Every single young person who walks across the football field during the ceremony deserves nothing less than the best support the community can, and should, offer.

Each candidate, regardless of what organization they represent, deserves to have an amazing moment in the spotlight.

Personally, for me, that's the best part of the homecoming tradition. The community coming together to recognizing students and their achievements.

Ultimately, we have a choice. We can either hold our heads up, act like adults and support the students on Oct. 11; or we can choose to be resentful because of disagreements with Tuesday's decision.

It is my hope, we can do the former. The community will stand along the streets during the parade, and football field sidelines, cheering its heart out for the various candidates. We will unite to celebrate the moment and rejoice with the the students crowned king and queen.

The students at Grove High School deserve nothing less than the best.


Kaylea M. Hutson is the managing editor of The Grove Sun. She can be reached at kaylea.hutson@grovesun.com or 918-786-2228. This column originally appeared in the Sept. 13, 2013 issue of The Grove Sun.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Bits & Pieces: Falling into September in Grove

A friend joked with me last week, about all of the upcoming events taking place in and around Grove in the next few weeks.

"For a small town, you are really busy," she said with a grin.

I just laughed. I told her between the Fall Open House, Delaware County Fair, Oktoberfest, REC Day, a Sailboat Race, and Pelican Festival, the month is packed with all kinds of fun.

Grove may be a small town, but its residents know how to party and ring the fall in with a bang!

I'm looking forward to popping into a few stores this weekend during the fall open house, as well as capturing some action at the fair.

Speaking of the fair, by the time you read this Friday, I may be hanging out in the show ring at the fair.

I hear there's an "adult showmanship" class, and I've been invited check it out, and see if my FFA and 4-H skills are still there for showing dairy cattle.

I'll admit, it's been a wee-bit since I've stepped into a show ring. Probably at least 10 years (or more). My dad laughed when I went home over the weekend to "borrow" my niece's boots for the event—my "show ring" boots seem to have been lost in the move. I imagine my FFA advisor (who coincidentally, is now my nephew's advisor) would also laugh.

So we'll see if I still have show skills—and I'm sure there will be a picture or two posted to Facebook of my attempts, along with other staff members from The Delaware County Journal. We shall see.

If you capture a photo at the fair, be sure to enter your favorite in the Fair photo contest. You'll only win bragging rights, but you will probably see it in print, and help us capture the memories of the fair!

Football is here!

Tonight marks the first football game of the season, and the first home game. Miami vs. Grove. Do you have your game face on?

Want to keep up with all things sports this fall? Have an iPhone (or Android), check out the Sports Blitz app. (In the app store, search for it using "American Consolidated Media" and "Miami Sports Blitz." http://bit.ly/162hgbv. The app showcases things from both the Miami News Record and Grove Sun sports departments - so you'll have area sports news at your finger tips!

Tailgating and more

Speaking of the first game, we heard yesterday the Grove PTO will hold its Seventh Annual PTO Tailgate Party at 5:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 6, at the Mid-School Practice Field. For $5 you can get hot dogs, chips and a beverage—and support a district-wide organization.

Golf Carts

Here's something I never anticipated writing about. Grove Police Chief Mark Morris would like the public to know—people driving golf carts within the city limits must have a valid driver's license.

The police department is keeping an eye out for underage golf-cart drivers, especially it seems, on Patricia Island, after a rise in complaints of reckless and or underage driving.

So be forewarned.... citations may be issued if your kidlet is caught behind the wheel of the cart.

Common Core

Common Core—and its potential impact on Oklahoma teachers continues to be a "hot topic" among both Democrats and Republicans alike.

Next week, Linda Murphy a Republican who has worked within the state government and education, plans to talk about Common Core at the "Get America Back" meeting (set for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12, at Trinity Baptist Church.)

Organizers hope the meeting will continue to spread information about Common Core and how it will impact students, teachers and administrators alike. If you have an interest in this issue, you might want to check out the meeting.

Kaylea M. Hutson is the managing editor of The Grove Sun. She can be reached at kaylea.hutson@grovesun.com or 918-786-2228. This column originally appeared in the Sept. 6, 2013 issue of The Grove Sun

Monday, September 2, 2013

Highlights from 09/03/13 issue

Highlights from the Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013
issue of The Grove Sun.

Front page focuses on the end of the summer season with GRDA, an upcoming city council meeting, and the breaking news: the death of former Jay resident, Boxer Tommy Morrison (of Rocky V fame.)

While the picture of Sam and Patti Williams, flying in the plane over Grand Lake for the Bobber Drop was cool, my favorite pic of the issue came as a fluke.

On Sunday morning, as I drove to church on Sunday, I saw members of the Grove Fire Department collecting money in their "boots" for MDA.

So, being late to church was worth getting this photo below. I was catching pics from different angles, and then, the flag caught my attention.

Politics aside related to Jerry Lewis and MDA, I thought it was a unique way to frame a "traditional" event - especially since this is a Labor Day tradition.
Jeremy Brown, with the Grove Fire Department collects money for MDA on Sunday, Sept. 1, in Grove.

Saturday was busy in Grove, with Jana Jae's Fiddle Camp and the Fifth Annual Great Grand Bobber Drop.
The fiddle camp was fun - it's the third musical event Jana Jae has held in Grove this summer. I have a new appreciation for this style of music. 

Below are a few scenes from the weekend event. More appear online at www.grandlakenews.com in a photo galery. 
This picture, of three-year-old Madysen Weeks of Buffalo, Mo.,  was my second favorite photo of the issue. I loved the spunk of this wee-one, as she performed with her workshop group. She was the youngest performer (I believe) at the fiddle camp.

It was fun to capture scenes of the Fifth Annual Great Grand Bobber Drop - and also encourage readers to submit their favorite images from the event.

Just another day in the #lifeofaneditor.

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