Alyssa Ranard (Family photo)
COPPERAS COVE (July 13, 2012)--A community birthday party is planned for a local girl diagnosed with cancer who says her one wish is for a celebration everyone can enjoy.
Alyssa Ranard, a 10-year-old student at Martin Walker Elementary, was diagnosed at the start of summer vacation with metastatic osteosarcoma, a condition in which a tumor spreads from bone to one or more sites in the body.
She's now being treated at the McLane Children's Hospital Scott & White in Temple.
Some of the treatments have made her very ill and she’s lost her hair, but she remains upbeat, her grandmother, Sonya Brend, said.
While Alyssa’s in the hospital, her family is planning the party, which will begin at 11 a.m. on July 21 at 2834 Arrowhead Dr. in Copperas Cove, and the community is stepping up to help.
Dairy Queen in Lampasas donated more than 300 ice cream cones, Pizza Hut in Copperas Cove will help with the food, soldiers from Fort Hood’s 1st Cavalry Division are collecting presents, and a Temple company is providing two bounce houses free of charge.
"People from all over are hearing about Alyssa and have wanted to help," Brend said.
A Gatesville resident whom Brend has never met sent a letter earlier this month containing $40.
Alyssa's family is also struggling mounting medical bills.
Alyssa's treatment in the hospital could cost close to $100,000, Brend said.
"Medicaid isn't covering a pain medication she needs, so that has been a very expensive item that's added up," Brend said.
The family has held two yard sales and a T-shirt sale to raise money for Alyssa, who’s decided she wants to a nurse when she grows up.
To help with donations or for more details on the community birthday party, call (254) 238-8460.