Oct. 23, 2006

Benefit for 2-month old baby with cancer set for Friday

By Jennifer Gallus
Staff Writer

A benefit supper and silent auction for infant cancer patient William Schultz will be Friday, Oct. 27, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at St. James Lutheran School in Howard Lake.

William made his grand entrance into this world Aug. 10, and joined his family, consisting of big sister Caroline, dad Bill, and mom Amanda.

William’s dad is originally from Howard Lake and is the son of the late Pastor Schultz, who served St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake.

William’s aunt, Suzie Meier, lives in Buffalo, and Bill’s uncle and aunt, Mark and Barb Schmieg, live in Howard Lake. They are helping to organize the benefit, along with the help of other relatives and friends.

William and his family live in Nebraska, and are so grateful that their family is putting together the fundraiser.

At only two weeks old, newborn William Schultz started showing physical signs that something was not quite right with him. What was at first thought of as something minor, that should be checked out by a doctor, became very major.

Amanda, William’s mom, said that, “What started off as a sick visit to check on his breathing and the lump under his right ear, ended us up at Bryan LGH Hospital in Lincoln, Neb. They conducted a sleep study and performed x-rays and ultrasounds.”

“The next day, when the ear, nose, and throat doctor couldn’t see what he needed to, we were rapidly transported to Children’s Hospital in Omaha,” Amanda explained.

A transport team secured an NICU bassinet onto a stretcher for the ride.

“That afternoon, after much evaluation and consultation, it was determined that William needed a tracheostomy, an MRI, and a biopsy of the lump,” Amanda said.

After extensive testing, William was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, which is a form of cancer that occurs in infants and young children. The cells usually resemble very primitive developing nerve cells found in an embryo or fetus, according to the website cancer.org.

The tumor is wrapped around William’s carotid artery. Because of the sensitive area where the tumor is located, surgery was not an option.

Chemotherapy was decided to be the best option, and young William has already undergone two treatments. He will have two more chemotherapy treatments before doctors will re-evaluate his condition.

William’s story has been kept in an online journal at caringbridge.com. To visit William’s pages, click on “visit a caring bridge site,” then type in williamschultz, and click on “visit.”

His parents have several pages of entries about William and his journey since day one. There is also many photos of William and his family on the website.

William’s parents encourage everyone who visit his site to sign his guest book. They enjoy reading who has visited the site.

If you cannot attend the benefit, and would like to make a donation, please direct donations to: Barb Schmeig, c/o St. James Lutheran Church, 1000 7th Ave., Howard Lake, MN 55349.

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