Volume 24 Issue 7
Inside: FHWC Celebrates Heart Month!
March 25, 2016
See Neighborhood Magazine!
Named The 2014 ‘Small Business Of The Year’ By The Wesley Chapel Chamber Of Commerce! The Direct-Mail News Magazines Serving New Tampa & Wesley Chapel Since 1993! For the complete list of the neighborhoods that receive this publication by direct mail in New Tampa (zip code 33647), see page 58!
With Cancer Battle Behind Her, Bailey Returns To Wharton High By John C. Cotey
To whoever has been parking their car in Bailey Rhodes’ senior spot this year at Paul R. Wharton High, she’s got news for you: Starting Monday, April 4, she’ll be needing it back. Bailey, a 17-year-old senior at Wharton, will be returning to school for the first time since Sept. 2014, after winning battles against bone cancer and leukemia the last four years that left her immune system battered and susceptible and left her unable to wander far from her hospital rooms at Tampa General (TGH) and All Children’s hospitals, as well as her New Tampa home. She took on all of her treatments with verve, foregoing any wallowing and telling anyone who would listen, ‘Let’s get this going, I have stuff to do and places to go.’” She will finally get to park her car in one of those spaces in a couple of weeks. “I can’t wait,’’ she says excitedly, her big brown eyes and even bigger spirit clearly joyful. “I’ve been waiting such a long time.” Nearly two years, to be exact. September of 2014 was the last time that Bailey attended school, after her first fight with bone cancer and before her second against leukemia. She has worked hard for this moment. While cancer ravaged her body, Bailey kept her mind focused on school. Although she couldn’t attend full classes, she took her courses through TGH’s Homebound programs, spending hours on the phone with teachers like Gary Lundgren, “Who I couldn’t have done this without,” she says, and others from Wharton.
Also Inside This Issue: News, Business & Sports Updates Shops At Wiregrass Adding New Stores, New Tampa Voters Like Clinton & Trump, District 7 Seat Attracts Another, Author Publishes The Definitive History Of Wesley Chapel, ‘Mayor Bob’ Visits Chiles, Tennis For Fun Comes To Tampa Palms & Lots of Local Business Features!
Are You Interested In Opening An Oakley’s Grille?, St. Paddy’s Day Turns New Tampa Green With Revelers, Relay For Life Returns To Freedom & More Neighborhood Nibbles & Biz Bytes!
Bailey has volunteered any way she could, as a mentor, talking to other families touched by cancer, working fashion shows with cancer patients and even working with special needs students when healthy enough. She took both the SAT and ACT exams from a hospital room. Now, she will be able to attend the final two months of her senior year, and graduate with her class. “Everything she had to go through, it’s been kind of hard to Paul R. Wharton High seniors Jessica Korver (left) and Bailey Rhodes. watch,’’ says Bailey’s her knee, and a visit to the doctor and an best friend, Jessica Korver. “It’s been hard to MRI confirmed that she had a tumor. go to school and have her not be there. She “When I heard tumor, I was like, ‘Wait was always the, ‘Let’s go to all the pep rallies’ a minute…back it up,’’’ said Beth, a secondperson, and I’ve always been the stay home grade teacher at New Tampa’s Dr. Richard F. type of person. So, that’s been kind of hard. Pride Elementary. But she is soooo strong. That’s the one thing The diagnosis came just two weeks after I really learned through this whole thing.” Bailey was told she no longer had to wear a back brace to bed to help with scoliosis while A Tough Time Bailey was first diagnosed in 2012 with she was in middle school. “I said, ‘I can’t catch a break’ in one osteosarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer with fewer than 20,000 cases nationwide per year. breath, and then in the other, I said, ‘I guess The summer before her freshman year this is God’s plan for me,’” Bailey says. at Wharton, she had been experiencing pain Although there were tears as family in her left knee. Her mother Beth says that members showed up at the doctor’s office, Bailey’s grandmother noticed a small rise in Bailey was resolved to fight. She received six
months of chemotherapy treatments, a full knee replacement and limb salvage of her tibia, and another seven months of chemo. Her weight at one point was down to 68 pounds, and she needed a feeding tube to help get her back to a healthier weight. She was able to return to Wharton for the second nine-week period of her sophomore year in 2013. For a year, she was back to being a normal teenager, making the homecoming court, hanging out with friends, and even taking a family trip to Hawaii. But, in August of 2014, she started noticing bruises in places where she had not bumped into anything or fallen down. After being in remission for a year, a routine lab test revealed bad news — secondary leukemia, which was the result of her previous chemotherapy, requiring that she receive a bone marrow transplant. Bailey was shaken up. This fight would be more difficult, and require more resolve. She gritted her teeth through more chemo treatments as doctors searched for a bone marrow match. “When I was re-diagnosed, I said, ‘This is going to suck, it’s going to be hard, but it’s only going to make you stronger,’’’ Bailey recalls. “We’re going to get through this. And then at the end, we are going to say, ‘What can we do with this now? What can we take from this, and make better?’” After testing her family at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, doctors ended up finding a perfect match from a donor in Germany. “A 10 out of 10 match,’’ said Bailey. “I thought that was the coolest thing ever, that
Topgolf (photo), one of the hottest and most popular spots in Tampa Bay, where patrons can spend a night enjoying competitive golf games hitting balls on a high-tech driving range and enjoying drinks in a swanky lounge, will be the host for this year’s “Night of 5000” event put on by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) New Tampa Junior Woman’s Club (NTJWC) on Sunday, April 10, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. This year’s event will be the 19th annual, and longest-running, charity auction and fund raiser for the NTJWC. The signature event, which was created in the club’s inaugural year in 1997, “funds all of our projects for the next year,’’ says vice-president of communications Melanie Otte. “This is our big event.” This year’s theme is “Tee It Up For Charity -— A Topgolf Event.” Tickets for the event cost $75 per person if purchased by April 1 ($85 after), and there will be a silent auction, 50/50 raffle, buffet dinner and three hours of golf play. Otte said ticket sales have been brisk,
dlebrook Resort Tampa, and several others. “The park hopper passes are always popular,’’ Otte said, “but there’s a bunch of great stuff.” Some of the club’s recent community efforts include helping remodel the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Zephyrhills on March 5, and donating “first night bags” to be given to children when they arrive at Sunrise of Pasco County, a full-service domestic violence and sexual assault center. The bags included pajamas, a stuffed animal, coloring books, crayons and a flashlight. For more info or to purchase tickets, visit GFWCNewTampaJuniors.org/ no5000. The GFWC New Tampa Junior Woman’s Club meets the second Monday of every month, 6:30 p.m., at the New Tampa Family YMCA at 16221 Compton Dr. in Tampa Palms from August-May.
See “Bailey” on pg. 40.
New Tampa Juniors Tee It Up For Charity At Topgolf
and the event has received sponsorships from Gentle Care Dentistry (Dr. Tom Frankfurth, DDS), Dr. Duga, Dr. Feeney & Associates Pediatric Dentistry and the Florida Orthopaedic Institute, among others. The club receives most of the donations, which has exceeded $10,000 in the past, through the silent auction. The year;s top auction items include Disneyland Park Hopper tickets, a 4-night stay at the White Heart Coaching Hotel in Wiltshire, England, dinner for four at Dempsey’s Steakhouse at Sad-