Sedalia is a very family oriented place. It's something I've noticed over the years - when it comes to kids, we're a protective bunch.I'd like you to meet the Wood family. They seem like a normal, happy (admittedly HUGE, though - six kids?! Do they remember that sleep is a thing?!) family. They probably remind you of the family down the block. You know how it is, you hear the squeals, shouts, and giggles long before you see them.   Rachel is a home schoolin' full time Mom and Tony is a body shop appraiser. They have six kids, three boys and three girls.  They do all the normal kid stuff, play around, get skinned knees, sneeze everywhere, sing with the TV, get their clothes dirty, you get it.  Just like you were when you were that age.

Prayers for Kaizler

I have to single one kid out though. Take a second and look at that little one, Kaizler.  He's a sweet little curly headed kid that's dealing with a disease that's hard on even the toughest adult. He is five years old and has Leukemia. He's been getting treatment for a while now, and will be for at least another two years. I wonder, when he grows up,  if he'll remember what his life was like before he got sick.

I can't imagine how frightening it must be to have to try to keep it together and be a functioning adult when a little one has to go through all of this. Just think - every sniffle, every sneeze, every cool breeze... all of it has to put your heart in your throat in the hopes that he doesn't get sick, with his weakened immune system. And how hard must it be to try to make daily life just... normal? Not to be a blubbering mess of fear, anger, frustration, stress? Admittedly, he's been doing better, and everyone is thankful for that, but the journey is far from over.  Every day is a different struggle for all of the Wood family. Appointments, medications, routines, and.... then five other kids who need attention, schooling, baths, food...and remember, that'll keep going for at least another two years.

And then there's the medical bills. Even if someone has great health insurance... that's an issue. These panicked trips to the hospital at two a.m. are definitely not cheap. My Mom only went through it for about half the time Kaizler has, and my Dad told me he finally paid off her medical bills last year. That, and the expense of just living... it's overwhelming to even THINK about, much less thinking about having that kind of expense hanging over your head for years.

But you can help!  There's going to be a big lasagna fundraiser next month with a silent auction.  It's going to be on Saturday, July 22 at the Salvation Army Church Hall from 6-10 p.m.  So why am I telling you about this this early? We need to get the word out.  We have to tell every person to attend.  We need to reach out to every business in town for donations.  We need to put up flyers, we need to touch hearts, we need to just... be Sedalia. We need to help one of our own.  I've seen this town first hand help out strangers they will never meet just because they were in need (I've never forgotten, and I will NEVER forget how Sedalia helped us affected by the Mark Twain fire). We need to show that protective spirit for our kids. We need to tell ourselves that we're not going to let this kid down.  Not here. Not on our turf.  Not Sedalia.

Prayers for Kaizler

So please, ask your workplace, ask your friends, ask your family, ask your neighbor, ask the little old man next to you in church. Ask yourself.

We are looking for any donations that can be auctioned off such as gift cards, products (guns, bows, clothes, tools, equipment, etc), gift baskets, vouchers for service, whatever you've got. The objective of the auction is to assist  financially, so a monetary donation is definitely acceptable if a business or an individual would prefer to do that.  Just make sure you label everything and get it in by July 15. If you want to donate, or if you need more information, contact Angie Brandes at 660-827-4848.

Spread the word, Sedalia!

Kaizlerly yours,