Posted at 4 p.m. on August 13, 2019
HOLLANDTOWN – Saturday, August 17, is a big day for Kaitlyn Van De Hey as she fights a rare form of cancer that attacked her heart.
August 17 is “Kindness for Kaitlyn,” a fundraising event organized by the young nurse’s family and friends to help fund her battle with cardiac cancer.
Funding is critical because Kaitlyn, 21, is under the care of a Houston cancer center, one of the few hospitals or clinics in the world experienced in dealing with her cancer.
Unfortunately, that care is not covered under Kaitlyn’s health insurance – also her chemotherapy is partially covered because it is being administered locally through Aurora.
Saturday’s fundraiser begins at Van Abel’s of Hollandtown at 3 p.m. on August 17.
Organizers have set up raffles, games, a silent auction and dinner, with music and a DJ donated by Waves Entertainment.
Donations of raffle and auction prizes keep rolling in, and some of the major auction prizes so far include: a catered barbeque party for 25, a fish fry for 12, a 30-gun safe, hall tree, Disney Princess party for 10; corn hole set and party for 10, snow blower, coach purse full of gift cards, Booyah party, pool party, live painting, a lawn mower, pellet grill and supplies, digital electric smoker, wooden stand with sports equipment, patio set and wooden coolers, handcrafted Adirondack chairs and fire pit ring, Trek bike, bus party for 20, Wisconsin Sports Experience package (with Packer, Brewer, Badger and Bucks tickets), and a week’s stay at a Door County condo.
The number and quality of the auction items astounded the organizers.
In addition, there will be a Van Abel’s Chicken dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. with a portion of the proceeds doing to Kaitlyn’s cause.
For Kaitlyn, the support she has received since the diagnosis has been amazing.
“I am overjoyed by all the love, support and prayers and am extremely thankful,” she said. “Faith is what is getting me through, and I believe I am going through this to bring others closer to theirs.”
The chemotherapy has sapped Kaitlyn of her strength. It is tough for her to have visitors or take phone calls, but letters are a great consolation and she can read them as opportunities arise.
She is hoping for better days ahead.
“Yes, being able to walk without getting tired and shower without being hydrated,” she said.
Part of her approach to her treatment by the Houston “dream team” is keeping her goals in focus – the same goals she had before the diagnosis: “To finish school, get married and hopefully be able to have kids … I have great confidence in the dream team and feel comfortable in their care.”
After she finishes the chemotherapy regimen, she hopes to be able to return to Houston for surgery.
She was working in a neo-natal intensive care until when abdominal pain and shortness of breath led to the discovery of the tumor in her heart.
Kaitlyn graduated from Wrightstown High School in 2016 and was studying for a nursing degree, with a specialization in neo-natal intensive care.
She dreamed of a life of caring for others, and now, her friends are hoping their efforts and those of the community will make that dream possible.