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'We Bree-lieve': Bree Town returns home leukemia free

'We Bree-lieve': Bree Town returns home leukemia free

GREENVILLE, Mich.—A young Greenville area girl who has been battling acute myeloid leukemia for nearly two years is now cancer free and back home.

Bree Town returned home from Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Tuesday.  Baldwin Heights Elementary School Principal Michael Walsh says she’s still battling illnesses as her immune system rebuilds, but doctors have deemed her leukemia free.

Bree has had more than 75 blood transfusions since she was diagnosed on May 1, 2012.  Her family was told she had just a 60 percent cancer of survival; a survival dependent on generous strangers who donated hundreds of units of blood and became registered bone marrow donors in her honor.

“The community has rallied so much around this girl and this family, it’s amazing,” says Walsh.

In December 2013, doctors found one donor was a 100 percent match for Bree.  She underwent surgery earlier this year.

My Town: Governor Snyder selects West Michiganders to serve MMSA

My Town: Governor Snyder selects West Michiganders to serve MMSA

LANSING, Mich.—Two community leaders from West Michigan are joining a Michigan authority focused on forging relationships between municipalities and school districts.

On Thursday, Governor Snyder announced the appointment of Al Vanderberg  and to the Michigan Municipal Services Authority and its executive committee,  as well as the appointment of Stacie Behler as chair of the executive committee and the MMSA board.  The MMSA encourages cooperation between communities in school district, overseeing services they can share.

“Increasing collaboration between local units of government and getting the most out of citizens' tax dollars remains an important focus as we continue to reinvent government,” Snyder said. “I appreciate the willingness of both Al and Stacie to serve in these important roles in that effort.” 

'We Bree-lieve': Mother of Bree Town asking for prayers

'We Bree-lieve': Mother of Bree Town asking for prayers

GREENVILLE, Mich.—The mother of a 10-year-old girl battling acute myeloid leukemia is asking for the community’s prayers as her daughter tries to recover from a bone marrow transplant.

Bree Town recently received the bone marrow transplant from a donor who was a complete match.  However, her mother says on Facebook that she’s not feeling well; she says Bree is continuously vomiting and dealing with excruciating pain as her body reacts to the new stem cells.

Jennifer Town writes, “She's just a baby who shouldn't have to even go through this. Bree, hang in there sweetie this will be over soon and it's going to get better. Soon you'll be coloring, playing Super Mario Brothers, and more importantly can be back with your big sister, Madison.  Love you sweetheart.”

Greenville Frozen Jackets earn Polar Plunge award

Greenville Frozen Jackets earn Polar Plunge award

GREENVILLE, Mich.— Greenville Public Schools has a new trophy to add to its case.

On Saturday Feb. 8, the district took first place for most money raised by a school district during the Special Olympics Polar Plunge.  According to the Baldwin Heights Elementary Facebook page, this is the fourth consecutive year the Frozen Jackets have taken the title, thanks to community support.

It’s also the fourth year Baldwin Heights Elementary Principal Michael Walsh has taken the icy plunge himself, which you can watch on YouTube here.

Big Boy hosts benefit for Bree Town Jan. 30

Big Boy hosts benefit for Bree Town Jan. 30

GREENVILLE, Mich.-- Community members are encouraged to show their support for a 10-year-old girl battling acute myeloid leukemia by grabbing a meal at the local Big Boy Thursday night.

From 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Big Boy will donate 15 percent of food purchases to Bree Town and her family. However, patrons must print and present the flyer below for their bill to count.   The benefit is sponsored by Calvary Baptist Church.

Last month, Baldwin Heights Elementary Principal Mike Walsh said doctors found a 100 percent bone marrow match for Bree, giving her the best possible chance at beating leukemia.   Walsh said Bree still had another round of chemotherapy, but doctors may be able to do a bone marrow transplant as early as January.

John Decker files candidacy for 73rd District House seat

John Decker files candidacy for 73rd District House seat

CANNON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – John A. Decker, retired auto dealership owner, announced his candidacy in the Aug. 5, 2014 Republican primary for Michigan’s 73rd House District.

The seat is currently held by Peter MacGregor, who has chosen not to seek re-election and is instead vying for a seat in the Michigan Senate.

“I plan to take the knowledge I gained as a responsible businessman to Lansing and represent the 73rd District with the utmost integrity,” said Decker, who has nearly 25 years experience owning General Motors dealerships. “I am fortunate enough to be retired, but I have the desire to give back to the communities that supported me both as a businessman and personally.”

Decker resides in Kent County’s Cannon Township. He has been married for 30 years to his wife, Connie.

Holocaust survivor shares story at Flat River Community Library

Holocaust survivor shares story at Flat River Community Library

GREENVILLE, Mich.—In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Holocaust survivor Martin Lowenberg will share his remarkable story of survival at Flat River Community Library on Thursday, Jan. 23.

As a child in Nazi Germany, Lowenberg was deported to five different concentration camps before being liberated into Sweden in 1945. Twenty-eight members of his family died, including his parents and twin brothers.

Now a Holocaust educator, Lowenberg travels extensively to share his story in the hopes that future genocides may be prevented.  Lowenberg’s presentation begins at 6 p.m.