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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Mom who stands with her son against cancer gets day of pampering from community

  • In the last three years, Jenny Schroeder has had to become to accustomed to many new normals.
    When her son, Kaiden Schroeder, now 8, was first diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia, she had to adjust to a routine of her son's heavy chemotherapy treatments in Wichita.
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  • In the last four years, Jenny Schroeder has had to become to accustomed to many new normals.
    When her son, Kaiden Schroeder, now 8, was first diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia, she had to adjust to a routine of her son's heavy chemotherapy treatments in Wichita.
    The family thought Kaiden was on the road to recover, but in November 2012, he relapsed.
    "I don't know how to describe my life," Jenny said. "I just get used to one kind of normal, and it changes again."
    This meant his treatment process had to start all over again. This new period of treatment lasted about a year.
    "We didn't know how to feel. Happy? Sad?" Jenny told the Sentinel after Kaiden's second relapse "When we first had to tell (Kaiden), it was devastation, tears and lots of questions we couldn't answer." Kaiden has received spinal taps, IV chemotherapy andsteroids as he works toward remission.
    Kaiden finally had to have a bone marrow transplant in February.
    As Kaiden struggled with his cancer battle, the Schroeder family welcomed their third child into the family, Bryson, who is now 7 and half months old.
    Kaiden is doing well now. He travels to Kansas City every three weeks for checkups. He is still on medical restrictions, and his family has to be careful not to be exposed to any illnesses they might given to Kaiden.
    Kaiden still needs extra care, but Jenny takes it all in stride.
    "It is just what I do," she said. "I won't trade it for anything."
    Jenny got a chance to step out of her normal Saturday.
    Friends and family nominated her for the Ultimate Dream Makeover. These same friends and family conspired to keep Jenny in the dark until Saturday morning, when they gathered at The Well to spring the news about her day of leisure upon her.
    Jenny thought she was going to The Well to meet some ladies to talk about a fundraiser being conducted this weekend in connection with the McPherson County Fair Demo Derby to help raise money for the family's medical expenses.
    "I left the house and my mom was there and all the three kids were asleep," she said. Jenny said Bother her mother, Sandra Lolling, who baysat the kids Saturday, and her mother-in-law, Gloria, have helped the family very much during Kaiden's illness.
    Twenty minutes later, the whole crew was at The Well for their mom's big surprise.
    Merle Leatherman, Ultimate Dream Makeover founder, whisked Jenny away for a day of shopping and beauty treatment.
    Jenny said she doesn't have a lot of time for beauty.
    The last time Jenny had her hair cut was last fall before Kaiden's transplant, and she admitted she had never had a mani/pedi.
    Page 2 of 2 - Jenny received the royal treatment at Integrity Salon, including that needed haircut and her first manicure and pedicure.
    She spent the rest of the afternoon shopping, and picked out a stunning green dress. However, she said she felt a little strange to be out of her usual T-shirt and jeans.
    "It has all been crazy fun everywhere," she said. "We went to Brooklyn & Co., and they had to remind me to shop for myself. I kept wanting to look a the kids stuff. I had to avoid that wall."
    Jenny said she was completely surprised by the makeover. She was stunned by her family and friend's abilities to keep such a big secret.
    As her family gathered at Tres Amigos for a celebratory dinner, she expressed her thanks to them, Leatherman and all the donors who gave to the makeover.
    "Thanks a million," she said.
    Since Kaiden became ill, Jenny has worked at home for her company, Farmers Alliance.
    She said she hopes she will be able to eventually take her new look into yet another new normal — a return to her old office and a healthy family.
    The following businesses donated to the summer 2013 Ultimate Dream Makeover:
    Balloon Landing
    The Well
    Browns Shoe Fit
    Braum's Ice Cream & Dairy Store
    McPherson College
    McPherson Street Department
    McPherson Police Department
    Dirt Cheap Banners
    Hometown Tire and Turf
    Tres Amigos
    Hutchinson News
    McPherson Sentinel
    Larry Yeanacopolis
    Sears
    Hedlund Electric
    Pennzoil
    Shimmerz Tanning Salon
    Orscheln Farm and Home
    Holiday Inn
    Seams Unlimited
    Cake Lady
    McPherson Glass
    JD's Kwik Burger
    Artshirt
    Stewart's Sports
    Wallace Chevrolet
    Midway Motors
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