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Paynesville Press - Feb. 5, 2005

Three ninth graders at Paynesville Area High School have become published authors. Ninth graders Kayla Lieser, the daughter of Judy Granzow, Cassey Lund, the daughter of Barb and Lee Lund, and Chris Van Eps, the son of Dennis and Jean Van Eps, all have had short stories published in the 2004 edition of the book, "Anthology of Short Stories by Young Americans."

The trio wrote the stories last year as eighth graders at Paynesville Area Middle School as a class assignment and submitted them for publication as extra credit.

Chris Van Eps' essay:
It was in the morning when Jeany's son, Jarred, asked, "Could I go to the doctor's, because I am not feeling well."

"Sure," said Jeany, "if you think that you are sick enough."

So they went to the doctor's, and he was sicker that they thought.

His doctor said, "I am sorry to say this," he said in a sad hushed tone, "but, your son has cancer."

He had a Wilms tumor and at the time he was seven years old and that meant that he was too old to have that type of cancer, which they thought was odd. Jarred's mother and sister cried for about half an hour right after they heard.

Jarred was then sent to the St. Cloud Hospital where they determined that the rumor could not be removed without taking a kidney with it. The also determined that it was about the size of a very small melon. They said that it was a good thing that the tumor was found when it was, before the cancer part of it spread to other parts of the body. They also said that this type of cancer was a good kind of cancer to get, not that any kind of cancer is good to get, but because it was easier to treat.

Then they told Jarred's family to drive to Minneapolis so that Jarred could have surgery to remove the Wilms tumor. Jarred, his mother, Jeany, and his older sister drove to Minneapolis but on the way to the Children's Hospital, Jeany got lost and all the streets they drove on were so bumpy that while they were driving on one of those streets a tire on Jeany's station wagon burst and she did not have a spare tire.

They could not get anybody to stop for them. It was already getting dark so they all headed back to the car and spent the night in it.

Luckily it was a warm summer's night, even then, none of them got very much sleep.

In the morning Jeany was the first one up so she decided to study a map, that she had remembered the night before that she had of Minneapolis that was kept under the driver's side seat. After they were all awake and done studying the map they left to go see if they could find the Children's Hospital on foot.

After about an hour of walking, they stopped to take a break and look at the map, but the map was gone. Kali, Jarred's older sister, had it in her pocket, when they left the car they were almost positive they had a map.

She thought to herself, Did I leave it in the car, did I lose it or did someone take it? She thought back and remembered that someone bumped into her earlier. She thought that that person must have pickpocketed the map, thinking there might have been money or something else in it.

They decided to go and ask directions from somebody, but everybody that they tried talking to were either in too much of a hurry or too busy to notice them except for one person that was just sitting on a bench by a bus stop taking a break, he was on his way home so it seemed. He helped them as much as he could, but he did not know exactly where the hospital was.

Jeany asked, "Excuse me sir but do you know how to get to the Children's Hospital?"

He said he would go with them because he did not have anything else to do for the rest of the day. So they walked in the general direction that he thought the hospital was in. He did not have a car and he was pretty new to the city so he did not know much about it. About two hours later they stopped to take another break.

They were lost again. They had no clue where they were or where they were going. For a while they were actually going in a huge circle, until they found out that they were not even in Minneapolis anymore. They were in St. Paul. The only way they could tell that they were in St. Paul was because they were by the Minnesota State Capital Building.

They went in and got a couple of maps of St. Paul and Minneapolis. All four of them stated heading back to Minneapolis and the Children's Hospital. But on the way Kali stumbled and hurt her leg and wrist so she had to be supported by Mr. Foferpickle, the man they met earlier at the bus stop.

All four of them took a break in front of a bank and that is when it hit Jeany that she had a blank check in her sock the whole time and had completely forgotten about it. So that is when they went in the bank and wrote out a check to themselves for two hundred dollars.

Then they went and found a taxi and went to the Children's Hospital and got medical help for Kali, and Jarred was marked with a pen for surgery immediately after they got there. His surgery took about two and a half hours to get done but it was successful.

He still had to have radiation and chemotherapy to have the remaining cancer cells destroyed before the cells start forming a new tumor. He had to have hundreds of needles put into him for CT scans and to have blood drawn.

He must also have checkups every year which has actually changed to five-year checkups. Although he cannot play sport anymore he should live a perfectly normal life. Kali's leg and wrist have healed back to normal. Jeany's station wagon was towed and as it turned out that there was someone out looking for them as hard as they could but still could not find any clues as to where they were.

As for Mr. Foferpickle, he and Jeany have become the best of friends. And everyone lived happily ever after.

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