Run or walk for a great cause!

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record
Kalena Willems

On Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011 from noon – 2 p.m., we will be collecting “Kilometers for Kalena”. This two hour event features a 5K out and back course that will start at St. John's Catholic Church, 1101 21st St., Viola. Participants are asked to obtain pledges for completing the kilometers they believe they can cover in a two hour period. The funds raised will be collected before the race.   

WHY “Kilometers for Kalena”?  

This fund-raising event is to help Kalena Willems, an eighth grader at Sherrard Jr. High School and her family. She has been diagnosed with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), a rare disorder that causes blood clots to form in the small blood vessels throughout her body. TTP can cause damage to internal organs such as the brain and kidneys, it also reduces platelets, which can lead to internal bleeding.  Kalena has been a patient at Iowa City Children’s Hospital twice since the beginning of July. After her relapse in August, she was in Iowa City for over a month.

One of the major treatments she had to receive while in the hospital included something called plasmapheresis. This procedure circulates the blood through a machine and it removes the damaged plasma and puts in healthy donor plasma.  Kalena has received 30 plasmapheresis treatments and a port was inserted. She has also has had to have four rounds of chemotherapy (Rituximab) to help her immune system improve.

During this time, her family has incurred a great financial burden and we are asking you to please help Kalena and her family!  As friends and concerned members of the community and her local parish, our aim is to raise money to offset the medical, living and traveling expenses acquired during Kalena’s illness.

PLEASE register for this event at and request a pledge sheet to gather sponsor donations. ALL PARTICIPANTS NEED A PLEDGE SHEET TO RUN/WALK. Please indicate t-shirt size and contact information at the email address above. Those who gather $50 or more in donations will receive a free “Kilometers for Kalena” t-shirt. Please have all checks made payable to “Kilometers for Kalena”.

If you have any questions please email or call Dana Brooks at 309-371-9448.