'Kirstyn's Givin' Cancer the Smackdown' at local carnival

Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer

Beacon Correspondent

Kirstyn Wilwerding is still fighting the good fight against cancer. Friends and family are throwing a carnival to help offset the expenses of medical treatments, check-ups and a prosthetic. The carnival will be held Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. at the Redwood Acres Home Economics Building.

The carnival will have a hair tinsel booth, temporary tattoo booth, and lots of kids games. There will be performances by Ya Habibi, an accordion player, hip hop dance, a bubble gum bubble blowing contest, and a hula hoop contest. All of these activities are covered in the $10 admission price.

The adults will have an opportunity to toss quarters for entries into a Kindle drawing. There will be pizza, nachos, hot dogs, cotton candy, beer and non-alcoholic drinks for sale throughout the event.

Kirstyn has been fighting clear cell sarcoma and recently had surgery to remove a portion of her foot and a toe to ensure the cancer did not spread. Clear cell sarcoma has a high rate of return due to being a soft-tissue cancer.

Currently Kirstyn is cancer free and traveling to Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto four times a year for MRI and CT scans. "Kirstyn is doing well with the loss to her foot," said Sarah Wilwerding, Kirstyn's stepmother. "She sometimes hides it and hesitates to show people, but she recently went swimming without covering it up. She is amazingly strong."

Kirstyn is not is pain anymore, but does experience tingling. The doctors have explained that the brain is adjusting to part of her foot and toe being gone.

"The brain sends signals to Kirstyn that the toe is still there and then she sees it is gone and it is shocking to her all over again," Wilwerding said. "Mentally Kirstyn still feels her toe being there. The doctors say it is normal adjustment and will pass."

"On Jan. 24, 2013 I found out I had a cancer called Clear Cell Sarcoma," Kirstyn said. "I didn't cry when I found out. I had mixed feelings. I was sad inside but strong on the outside. I knew that having cancer meant I would have to stay positive and fight!"

The local community had come together on several occasions for Kirstyn and several other local children battling cancer. Kirstyn recalls first hearing about a boy named Konar Davenport that was diagnosed with a brain cancer.

"When I had my first surgery I sent him a card and we continued to send cards back and forth," Kirstyn said. "Konar was very kind to me and I was to him. I wanted to meet Konar and did at a garage sale for him.

Kirstyn said Konar definitely inspired her to try even harder.

"I started going down to Stanford and then had to get the lymph node biopsy, which turned out negative," she said. "I was able to make the hard but right choice to have my big toe amputated. I would have liked to do chemotherapy instead but it is not effective in my type of cancer.

"I will be really good at counting by nines," Kirstyn joked. "Losing my toe and part of my foot is a small price to pay for life. Cancer will not beat me! I'll kick its butt!"

Kirstyn said that once everyone knew, the community was really supportive.

"I think it is so nice to have such a great community that would pull together like that," she said.

Photo by Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer/Beacon

Kirstyn Wilwerding and her 15 month old brother Taevin Wilwerding relax for pictures in the California Cancer Crusher, which raises money for cancer patients.