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Two Ripon fifth graders battle cancer

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POSTED February 17, 2017 1:25 a.m.

The yearly “Elegant Edibles” fundraiser at Ripon’s Weston School set for 6 p.m. until midnight Saturday at the Ripon Community Center will also help two fifth grade boys fighting cancer.
The tasting event is complete with a silent auction, raffle and dancing.  The popular tasting fare includes area restaurants, wineries, breweries, bakeries and businesses. It was organized this year to provide for new furniture for the school library.
The two fifth graders are Kyle Prime and Mason Ferrulli.
Ripon barber Troy Medeiros has developed his own baseball fans’ “Giants’ Drink” liquor in seeking donations for the boys.  Three capped bottles will be set next to a donation container in the silent auction to help pay for the families’ medical expense. 
The boys also have had Gofundme accounts opened for them to help support their families with their unending hospital and specialists’ bills in fighting their cancers.
The boys are both Giants’ baseball fans and within minutes of posting their conditions on Facebook, the Ripon Baseball Club donated $100.  Kellie Prime donated a signed Buster Posey baseball cap in her son’s honor.  At the bar, another special drink is being offered consisting of pineapple vodka, orange and cranberry juice, calling it “Giants’ Juice.”
Kyle Prime, 10, saw blood in his urine last August and told his mother he also had a little bump in his stomach. He was taken to Doctors Hospital in Manteca for a CT scan where he was immediately rushed by ambulance to Oakland Children’s Hospital.
Two days later he was taken into surgery to remove a huge mass from his left kidney – along with that left kidney.  The surgery took a little over six hours, and according to his mother, he recovered well, being able to walk by the second day.  Within the week he was diagnosed to have a Willms’ tumor.
Kyle would have to endure 24 weeks of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation treatments.  During the first 12 treatments, chemo was a weekly event with the second half every three weeks.  The chemotherapy dropped his weight by 15 pounds and caused the loss of his hair. 
CT scans will take place every three months to make sure there is no reoccurrence anywhere in his body for the first year along with echocardiograms to watch for side effect to his heart from the chemotherapy, his mother said.  After a year, doctors will continue to monitor his condition every six months for five years with some testing continuing well into his adult life.
Kyle was an active fifth grader who played many sports including baseball and football.  Doctors are advising no physical contact sports due to his nephrectomy – so, football is probably out with baseball a possibility doctors say.
Half way through his treatment, Kyle learned that a fifth grade classmate,  Mason Ferrulli,  was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in mid-January – a growth that is diagnosed less than 200 times a year throughout the entire country.  Mason’s mom, Monica, said that due to the location of the growth and the way the tumor attaches to nerves in the brain, there was only a 25 percent chance of safely removing the entire tumor.
She credited Mason’s “amazing neurosurgeon” with removing the entire tumor during a 14-hour surgery last month.  While manipulating the growth away from the brain stem area, several nerves were affected that controlled movements.  He has had to relearn how to walk, sit, eat, and regain all of his strength back throughout his entire body, his mother related.
Mason continues to face challenges from headaches to countless MRIs, fluid backup in his head and frequent needles that he hates, she added. 
“Despite all the pain and work, Mason has shown such determination and continues to amaze his team of doctors and rehabilitation therapists on a daily basis. Every day is a challenge physically and mentally, but Mason is a fighter and has God, family and his friends and hundreds of strangers supporting him through his journey.  We are looking forward to the day we can walk out of this hospital and take our son home, but until then, we will be here fighting,” his mom said.
The food and spirit tasting gala is hosting fine restaurants, wineries, breweries, bakeries and businesses with some opportunities still open for vendors in the region.  Tickets are $35 per person or $40 at the door for those wishing to support the school’s needs but they must be at least 21 years old with valid identification. 
Tickets are available in a limited number at Medeiros Family Barber Shop at 207 South Locust Avenue or at the Weston School office on Stanley Avenue in Ripon.

To Contact Glenn Kahl, email gkahl@mantecabulletin.com.

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