The Butterfly Club Helps a Teen with Cancer Heal in Style
Kailynn* was packing for a trip to visit family in Phoenix over Spring Break, when she noticed an odd-shaped, sore spot in her neck. She'd been a little tired lately but keeping up with her ballet practice and performance schedule, plus all the obligations surrounding her upcoming high school graduation had her feeling a little more run down than usual.
Still, she mentioned the lump to her mom. Laura felt Kailynn's neck with her fingertips and frowned. "Nothing to worry about, I'm sure," Laura said quickly. "Still, we'll call Dr. Silva and have it checked out."
Laura and Kailynn returned to the list of items they'd be taking for the road trip; the audiobooks they'd listen to, the gifts they'd give to family. The normal. The mundane. The lump was forgotten. For now.
The doctor visit was scheduled following their return. Dr. Silva had a similar reaction, a quick check of the lump, a frown. "I don't want to alarm you, but I'd like an oncologist to take a look," she said. The next few months were a blur. A diagnosis: Hodgkins Lymphoma. Treatment. Radiation. Chemotherapy.
The new treatments had a very promising outlook, they were told. Not only was it good news for the prognosis, but there was reason to believe patients with this new form of chemo might not lose hair in the process. Of course, nothing was guaranteed.
Kailynn turned out to be unlucky with the last one. Not long into the treatment, her hair began to fall out. By all appearances, Kailynn never stopped being positive, but privately, this was a blow to her already shaky self-confidence.
That's when Laura's friend Vanessa told her about the Butterfly Club in Sierra Vista. Started in 2000 by Wilma Richards after her own cancer diagnosis, The Butterfly Club is a nonprofit organization based in Sierra Vista. The nonprofit does one thing: give wigs to women and teens who lose their hair as a result of cancer treatments.
After reaching out to the Butterfly Club, Kailynn received a beautiful wig, one that fit her and her personality perfectly. She was able to keep up with all her events; prom, parties, and was even able to continue dancing, although with a somewhat lighter schedule as she healed and recovered.
Since 2000, the mission of the Butterfly Club has grown to provide wigs to women and teens across the nation. They even provide fittings, caps, and cut and style the wigs - completely free of charge.
The Butterfly Club has several local fundraisers throughout the year to support this singular cause and they're always looking for vendors and participants.
On Saturday March 25th from 9am to 5pm at the Mall at Sierra Vista, the public is invited to support the Butterfly Club at 2200 El Mercado Loop.
The Bazaar will host vendors with a wide variety of crafts, goods, services and demonstrations. And don't miss the Car Show happening from 10am to 1pm in the parking lot at the Mall. Shop local and visit with your neighbors! Entrance to the Spring Bazaar and Car Show is FREE!
Seven months after graduation, Kailynn received the news she'd been waiting for: she was cancer-free. She's applying to college now, with an eye toward nursing. In pediatric oncology, of course. She's pretty sure she has what it takes to make a difference in the lives of children and teens, and she's forever grateful to the Butterfly Club for their help.
*Some names and details have been changed for privacy.