Kyrene de las Lomas staff raise funds for student’s trip for radiation therapy - Ahwatukee Foothills News: News

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Kyrene de las Lomas staff raise funds for student’s trip for radiation therapy

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Posted: Sunday, June 29, 2014 9:53 am

Staff members from Kyrene de las Lomas Elementary School recently hosted a fundraiser in efforts to support former student Kailah Franco, who’ll travel to Oklahoma City to receive radiation treatment for cancer

The fundraiser occurred Thursday evening at Peter Piper Pizza, where the restaurant donated 15 percent of its evening’s proceeds to Kailah’s traveling expenses and a raffle was conducted by Lomas staff members .

Laura Jean Curley, a third-grade teacher at Lomas, organized the fundraiser to assist her former student toward a speedy recovery. She has done other fundraisers in the past for her students who have battled cancer, and said she does it because she considers her students her children.

“When I see a need like this, my heart just speaks to it,” Curley said.

Kailah was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia when she was 7 years old and successfully battled the cancer throughout the years. Kailah went through intensive chemotherapy, and 10 months after her diagnosis, she was cancer free.

Kailah’s mother, Jennie Flores, said her daughter was closely monitored by her doctors, but last year, there was a small bump behind her right ear.

“Initially, doctors thought that it was a swollen lymph node from allergies,” she said.

Doctors recommended Kailah to see an specialist, who determined she showed positive signs for tiny cancer cells only visible via a microscope.

“With that type of diagnosis, radiation is the best treatment. Now, since she is 10 years old and still growing, doctors are very concerned as to the exposure of the radiation and how close it is to her brain,” Flores said. “They wanted to look for a facility that had a machine that had low-focus radiation, where they can actually limit the exposure of radiation she will be receiving.”

Flores said the family has been blown away by the support they received from members of the school, their friends and their church.

It’s a support system that has assisted the family throughout Kailah’s journey to being cancer free.

“We want our daughter to feed off of the positive energy we have received,” Flores said.

Flores said the family continues to remain positive throughout Kailah’s treatment process.

“It’s been really tough, but now that we know what we are dealing with and knowing that we are working with great doctors, it puts us at ease,” she said. “We’re hoping for a good prognosis. We have a very tight-knit community; we have a huge family; we have a loving school where my daughter goes to where everyone has rallied up. They know the situation we are going through and they have stepped up to help. We’ve been very blessed with the people that have been put in our path, and we’re very optimistic.”

Kailah’s former classmate, Aaron Brown, also assisted with her cause with a lemonade stand, which generated $480. To donate to Kailah’s Journey, visit

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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