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Local boy to run survivor’s lap at Relay for Life Saturday

By: Carol Percy, Reporter
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Nine years ago, Lincoln resident Kyler Haskins was a healthy 5-year-old.

Then came the headaches, double vision and vomiting. Following a CAT scan, Kyler’s mother, Sandie Haskins, learned that her son had an aggressive form of brain cancer. A golf ball-sized mass was discovered at the base of the boy’s brain, Haskins said.

“I went into shock. The whole room was spinning. I felt like I was paralyzed,” Haskins said.

What followed was a year of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Kyler was given a 10 to 40 percent chance of survival.

“I asked Kyler’s doctor, ‘How many kids have you treated in 25 years who are still alive?’ Haskins said. “She said ‘none.’”

“It was in God’s hands,” Haskins said.

In addition to “a lot of prayers,” Haskins made lifestyle changes that included organic foods and supplements.

After 18 months, Kyler got a clear CAT scan, according to Haskins.

“Our oncologist couldn’t believe it,” Haskins said. “She said, ‘Whatever you’re doing, keep it up.’”

However, the doctor cautioned the Haskins family that Kyler’s type of brain cancer had been known to return after long periods — sometimes in up to 14 years.

“So we live to celebrate every day, every MRI,” Haskins said.

Kyler, who is now 14 and an eighth-grader at Glen Edwards Middle School, has been cancer-free for nearly eight years, Haskins said.

To celebrate his recovery, support other cancer victims, and raise funds for cancer research, Kyler and his mother will run in the “Survivors Lap” at 9 a.m. Saturday as part of the American Cancer Society’s 10th annual Relay for Life of Lincoln.

The Relay for Life is scheduled from 9 a.m. Saturday until 9 a.m. Sunday on the Lincoln High School track at 790 J St. in Lincoln. Ceremonies, entertainment and themed running teams will be featured throughout the 24-hour event.

Seven bands will perform from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Saturday.

Complimentary food and water will be available throughout the Relay for Life event. Lincoln Lions Club will serve a free hot dog lunch at noon Saturday and just after midnight on Sunday morning, Old Town Pizza will serve pizza.

Four hours of children’s activities will take place in the Kidz Zone on from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Coordinator and host Laura Benjamin will supervise a variety of games, crafts, and entertainment for children. A flat charge of $5 for one hour or $10 for four hours for each child covers all of the following Kidz Zone events.

* Kuk Sool Won: martial arts students will demonstrate a variety of 1,000 kicks and will invite children to join them.

* The Dance Party Celebration: Benjamin will teach dances to Kidz Zone participants, including the bunny hop, chicken dance, Cupid shuffle, and electric slide.

* The Lincoln Fire Department: will bring a fire engine to the Kidz Zone and perform a fire-safety presentation.

* Lincoln Home Depot: will provide hands-on projects from their Kids Workshop series. Children can choose to assemble a project and paint it. Aprons will be provided. There is no additional cost for the projects.

* Girl Scout Troop No. 1773: will host carnival-type stations with games for Kidz Zone participants including face painting, and craft projects.

After Kidz Zone participants complete all of the Girl Scout stations, they are eligible for a free snow cone.

To learn about the 24-hour Relay for Life Lincoln activities or to sign up for the event, contact Esther Vigil at evigil21@gmail.com.

Participants can also sign up at the registration table next to the Lincoln High School track on Saturday.