Sunday, March 9, 2008

South Dakota Student Battles Bone Cancer

A child with cancer is something you never want to hear. Besides the trauma of dealing with the disease, the expense of fighting it can be overwhelming.

For the past 10 weeks, Amber Hudelson has been going through chemotherapy, fighting a rare form of bone cancer. However, it's even more rare that she stops smiling.

Lorie Hudelson, Amber's Mother, "Amber has a fabulous attitude about it all. She knows that she's going to be OK and she knows her hair is going to grow back, and that's what she's focusing on."

Amber explains, "It just makes me feel good that I know that so many people care about me. And so many people showed up to help me get through this."
Hundreds of people packed St. Peter's Community Center in Jefferson, South Dakota on Saturday night, spending their money on a spaghetti dinner and a silent auction, money the Hudelsons desperately need.

Lorie says, "All food, travel, and medical bills, because, I can't go back to work until Amber's done."

Much of Amber's medical costs will be covered by insurance, but the Hudelsons will end up paying thousands of dollars out of pocket. This benefit will help with that a lot.

Lorie explains, "I don't even know how to begin to thank everyone, make sure that everyone gets a thanks that they deserve."

The cancer started in Amber's ribs, collapsed a lung, and spread to her shoulder. But it hasn't affected her smile, which is what is getting her parents through this.

Lorie believes, "If she weren't as strong as she is, I think it would be a lot harder for us."
Amber says the hardest part is spending less time with her friends. And she never knew she had so many.

Doctors hope to operate on Amber's tumor in about a month. Then she'll continue chemotherapy and possibly radiation. In time, doctors expect Amber to be cancer-free.