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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Auction slated to benefit 13-year-old leukemia patient

Thursday, October 7, 2004

Staff Writer

KOSHKONONG -- A benefit auction for 13-year-old Amber Dern will be held Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. at the Koshkonong School gym. The band Family Tradition will perform, and a gun and other donated items will be given a way during the evening.

Amber is an 8th grader at Koshkonong school. She is the daughter of John Dern and Laura and Kelvin Wallace of Koshkonong and the granddaughter of Ray and Bridgett Dern of Koshkonong and Don and Barbara Smith of Mammoth Spring.

Amber's Grandpa Dern said she was diagnosed with AML acute leukemia June 14 of this year.

"How we first discovered she was sick is she wanted to sleep most of the time. Her grandmother and I thought it was from leading a busy family life, being on the go and playing ball a lot at night," Dern said. He said then she began being sick and not holding her food down.

Amber has undergone a series of four chemotherapy treatments, each one stronger and more intense than the last. She has had to be given blood plasma several times during the treatment. After each treatment her red cell count and immune system are low so danger of infection from bacteria is high.

"She has to wear a mask covering her nose and mouth every time she leaves her room at the hospital. Every day her blood is checked. A Hoffman line was placed going to her heart so that injections don't have to be done daily," Dern said.

When she first became ill she was at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. From there she stayed at the Ronald McDonald House and now she is at the Target House II. Her grandpa said just last week she was not feeling well and was found to have a bacterial infection and was treated for a while in ICU because of it.

Amber's family said she is a lively, active, friendly girl. They said she loves going to school and playing basketball and is loved by everyone who knows her.

"All of our neighbors and friends have been overwhelmingly supportive of Amber in her situation," the Derns said.

Amber has two brothers, Kelvin Jr. and Dakota, who she is looking forward to coming home to.

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