December 13, 2012

Team Ginny Backing Local Nurse's Battle Against Leukemia



Community members have banded together to form Team Ginny in support of long-time Scotland County nurse Ginny Monroe, who is battling leukemia.


After more than 30 years of being the person folks went to for medical help, a recent turn of events has placed a long-time local nurse in the care of her community.

Ginny Monroe is currently a resident at the Siteman Cancer Center in Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis awaiting a bone marrow transplant. Monroe was recently diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia.

Monroe is in her first year as the school nurse for the Scotland County R-I School District. Prior to that she has worked at the hospital, care center and most recently at the Scotland County Health Department. She also has served for more than two decades as the county coroner.

According to the National Bone Marrow Program, Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) is a fast-growing cancer of the blood and bone marrow. The disease causes the bone marrow to make many unformed cells called blasts. In healthy situations blasts normally develop into white blood cells that fight infection. The abnormal blasts caused by AML do not fully develop and thus cannot fight infections.

The disease can also cause bone marrow to make abnormal red blood cells and platelets. These leukemia cancer cells grow quickly, crowding out the normal red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets the body needs.

While she is a long way from home in Memphis, she's still in the hearts and on the minds of plenty of folks in Scotland County. After the news of Ginny's illness broke in early November, supporters started rallying to her side. Not long after she learned the news of her cancer, Team Ginny was formed.

Now over 700 hundred strong, the supporting cast are easily identifiable by the lime green shirts worn by team members who proudly bear the logo of Fighting with Ginny.



Staff members at the Scotland County Courthouse showed their team spirit this week, posing for a photo for Team Ginny.


The team started just days after the family learned of Ginny's illness. A number of family friends bonded together with the idea.

"Have you ever been touched by Ginny Monroe?" the team's Facebook page questioned at the outset of the support movement. "Have you ever felt her love, her compassion, her power, her strength, her knowledge, her empathy, or her passion for life" I don't know of a soul in this community that hasn't been affected by Ginny in some way. So, today we want to give back to Ginny and show her how much we LOVE and care for her."

The team jerseys offered instant photo opportunities, with groups, small and large, snapping a picture to send to Ginny or post on the Team Ginny Facebook page.

The sales also are being used as a fundraiser for the family to offset travel and medical costs.

There has been plenty of travel. Ginny finally succumbed to the symptoms after battling fatigue for numerous weeks. On November 5th, she contacted her daughter, Amy Gaudette, and told her she wasn't feeling well and needed to go to the hospital.

A series of tests quickly revealed problems with her blood counts. Doctors at Scotland County Hospital agreed, that she needed to be transferred to Blessing Hospital in Quincy, IL for further tests due to concerns regarding leukemia.

Those fears were realized when oncologists agreed with the initial diagnosis. The decision was made to fly Ginny to Siteman Cancer Center, which is ranked as one of the top 10 cancer centers in the nation.

Like most of the roughly 12,000 patients nationwide are diagnosed with AML each year, Ginny underwent the standard first phase of treatment, induction chemotherapy.

The National Bone Marrow Program explains that the goal of induction chemotherapy is to bring the disease into remission, which is when the patient's blood counts return to normal and bone marrow samples show no sign of disease (less than 5% of cells are leukemia cells).

The process is extremely intense, generally lasting just one week, with a period of three to four weeks allowed for the patient to recover from the treatment. Experts say that induction brings a complete remission in about 70% to 80% of adults under age 60.

Despite the typical side effects of the traumatizing drugs, Ginny soldiered through the first round of treatment, and in true Ginny fashion, told family members she "definitely wasn't coming home to Memphis head first".

On December 1st, the doctors announced plans to begin a second round of chemotherapy, featuring smaller dosages. The plan is upon completion to begin working on a bone marrow transplant.

While successful induction chemotherapy destroys the majority of the leukemia cells, remnants exists and if not destroyed, these cells can cause relapse.

Ginny has begun the second phase of chemotherapy, which is often called consolidation chemotherapy. The goal of consolidation chemotherapy is to destroy any remaining leukemia cells.

The family received good news in December. Ginny's brother, O.J. Simpson, is a match, and will be able to serve as the bone marrow donor.

This will be an allogeneic transplant, replacing the patient's bone marrow with healthy blood-forming cells from a family member. The process is the most invasive of treatment options, but also offers a much lower risk of relapse.

While the treatment plans have changed over her weeks at the hospital, one thing has remained constant, the support of Team Ginny members.

"I don't deserve all this attention. I am so scared and overwhelmed with this, but the prayers, calls, cards, visits and every other act of kindness have made it bearable," Ginny said. "I can't believe my Team Ginny. I feel so much love when I see the shirts and pictures and hear the comments and stories. The staff and students at the school have sent cards and visited and raised 'Pennies for Ginny' and they have been so patient with my situation. I know I'm where I need to be to fight this battle. The staff here are so genuinely caring and they are making my stay here comfortable so I can come back home to our awesome community that I care about and love. Thank you all so much."

Jauflione Chapter NSDAR Hosts Memorial Service for Care Center Veterans

Tuesday, May 15th, the  Jauflione Chapter DAR members honored veterans living at the Scotland County Care Center and the Residential Care Facility with a Memorial Day Service.

A candle lighting ceremony honoring deceased veterans who had resided at the Care Center was conducted. Those honored were: Richard Allen, Clifford Wilson, Sterling Forrester, Vern Howard, Larry Fulk, and Warren Hocker.

Resident Veterans attending the ceremony were: Johnny Erickson, Charles King, Lloyd Arps, Donald Newcomb, Helen Cary, Charles Alexander, Bob Hatferty, and, Lee Wheeler. Other guest veterans attending were: Emmett Phillips, Oren Erickson, and Patricia Miller. Lee Wheeler, a resident attended wearing a military uniform.

Light refreshments of cookies and punch were served by Jauflione members. Those members were: Jeannie Bissell, Connie Bratton, Angel Chance, Nelda Billups, Maxine Phillips, Linda Larsen, Terry Arnold, Patricia Miller, Rhonda Davis, and June Kice.

Service to Veterans is a DAR objective. Jauflione Chapter is pleased to honor Veterans of our community.

Gorin American Legion Post Plans Memorial Day Gathering

The Leslie Chambers #395 Gorin American Legion Post will be hosting its annual Memorial Day gathering on Sunday, May 27th.

There will be a carry-in dinner at 12:30 p.m. at the Gorin Christian Church with a program following the dinner. The Post will present military services at the Gorin Cemetery at 2:00 p.m. and everyone is invited.

County, Mapping Solutions to Host Public Hearing May 30th to Close out 911 Addressing Project

Just over three years after the proposal initially was approved by the Scotland County Commission, the 911 addressing and mapping project for the region will officially come to a close on May 30th.

Service provider Mapping Solutions will join with the Scotland County Commission to host a public hearing on Wednesday evening, May 30th at 6 p.m. in the Scotland County courtroom.

Anyone wishing to give feedback on the project or seeking answers to addressing questions is welcome to attend the public meeting.

On May 13, 2015, the Scotland County Commission voted 3-0 to enter a two-year, $45,000 contract with Mapping Solutions of Lathrop to create the new 911 mapping system for the county.

The company constructed a grid-based map using established east-west and north-south coordinates and assigned five-digit numbers assigned consecutively from the grid origin point, which is the northwest corner of the county. The address numbering increment was 5.28′ which allows for 1,000 unique numbered addresses per mile. This increment is recommended by NENA (National Emergency Number Association).

The new addresses first went into effect in September of 2017, replacing the old rural route mailing address for county residents with the five-digit house numbers and the corresponding county road number.

Hospital Recognizes Employees’ Years of Service, Awards Scholarship

Lynn Fincher (45 years) and Debbie Ward (40 years) were honored by the Scotland County Hospital Employee Committee for their loyalty and dedication to the hospital. They are pictured with Dr. Randy Tobler, CEO, Scotland County Hospital & Clinics.

The Scotland County Hospital (SCH) Employee Committee in Memphis recognized employees for their years of service with the organization and awarded service pins this month during National Hospital Week.  The Hospital is in its 48th year of providing healthcare services in the community and opened its doors on July 20, 1970.

There are several employees at SCH that have been loyal to the organization for multiple decades and received service pins this year.  At the top of that list, working 45 years is Lynn Fincher.  She earned her 45-year pin while Debbie Ward earned a 40-year pin.

Ms. Fincher is a native of Glenwood and lives in Memphis.  She started her career with SCH in April 1973.  Her first position was in Medical Records.  She then moved to the Registration Department and in 1980 she became the Supervisor of the Business Office.  Next on the list of long time hospital employees is Debbie Ward of rural Memphis.  She joined the hospital staff in June 1978 after completing nursing school.  She became the Operating Room Supervisor in 1984 and is now a staff nurse in the Surgery Center.

Next on the list of long time hospital employees is Angela Schmitter earning a 25 year pin. She is the Director of Health Information/ Compliance Officer. Twenty year pins were presented to Jean Hull from Registration & Admissions; Jennifer McMinn from Therapy Services and Diane Tague, Ancillary Services Assistant.

The Employee Committee recognizes employees, annually, with service pins in five year increments.  Other employees receiving pins this year include: 15 year pins – Thelma Norton, Ella Neagle & Ryan Elliott.  10 year pins – Jennifer Folker, Shelly Girardin, Berniece Kenny, Rodney Baldwin, Tonya Harrison, Kerri Shirkey, Jason Moss, Tammy Wheeler, Bethanie Grubb, Kristi Frederick, Robert Miller and Dr. Julia McNabb. 5 year pins – Travis Onken, Lindsie Kelley, Tara Neeves, Missy Smith, Kaitlin Grubb, Katie Tuck, Stephanie Henley-Pippert, Jonathan Holton, Trinity Davis, Dave McGinnis & Dr. Lisa Rollison.

The Scotland County Hospital Employee Committee awarded a $500 scholarship to Knox County High School Senior, Lindsey Alexander who plans to attend the University of Missouri – Kansas City and study in the anesthesiologist assistant program. She is pictured with Alisa Kigar from Scotland County Hospital & Clinics.

Recently, the Scotland County Hospital Employee Committee awarded a $500 scholarship to a Knox County High School Senior, Lindsey Alexander.  Ms. Alexander  is attending University of Missouri – Kansas City and plans to study in the anesthesiologist assistant program.  She is the daughter of Stacy & Lora Alexander of Edina.  Each year the SCH Employee Committee offers the scholarship to one student that applies from either Clark, Knox, Scotland or Schuyler County school districts.  This year the Employee Committee reviewed nine scholarship applications from the four school districts.  Because hospital employees come from all of these counties, it’s only fitting to offer the scholarship in these four school districts.

Irritable Jowl Syndrome

I once made a ‘feller’ down around Rutledge, MO so mad, with one of my letters to the editor, that he went into the “Constricting Heaves”, which then caused “Abdominal Vapors”, complicated by “Carbonic Bunions” on his toes! He hopped around for three weeks, like a ‘Frozen Toed Rooster’, until he finally calmed down!

Yes, I seem to have that effect on some folks, especially when I pen one of my well-written, provocative, yet witty, letters to the editor!

Take what happened to my friend (he still is by the way) Chris Feeney, editor of the Memphis Democrat.

Upon reading my recent letter “The Board of One Accord”, Chris had smoke rings coming out of his ears! He went into “Bilious Spleen Vapors”, which then progressed into “Irritable Jowl Syndrome”!

This sad situation got started by the article in the Memphis Democrat “City Marshal Position in Question Following April Election”.

First, let me say at this point, that I have nothing personal against any city council member. And I have NEVER said anything against Bill Holland. I think he is a good man.

I also know, that it isn’t easy, being a city council member, or for that matter the member of a hospital board, school board, or even some church committees. It can be frustrating, and make one feel that it is a thankless job.

I expressed some ‘misgivings’ I had about the article ‘in question’. It just sounded to me like the city council wielded a proverbial “Sword of Damocles” over the position! With the power of the ‘purse strings’ for example, and the example of a past city collector position being done away with by simply defunding the position.

There also seemed to be an inordinate fear of, what candidate, the voters might elect.

Now, if I’ve got it wrong, I apologize. I just don’t know why these things would be alluded to, if not for the purpose of eliminating what the “Board of One Accord” considered to be an obsolete office. Obviously the voters felt differently. The big difference here, is that the county collector position is still an elected office.

Now, back to Chris’s malady of “Irritable Jowl Syndrome”. You never know what he might say next! Downright mean stuff!

I’m ‘gutshot’ over those “Peanut Gallery” remarks Chris! I mean, damn, now everyone thinks of me as being like that “Lounge Lizard” over at the Texas Road House, that just hangs out in the waiting area, gobbling buckets full of peanuts, all the while hurling insults at the paying customers as they come in! Shish! (Actually this could be partly true.)

And, I am still reeling from that “non-resident” tirade of yours Chris! To me, it sounded a lot like Obama’s “You Didn’t Build That” speech. Gosh… you don’t talk like that to the guys on the police department, and they’re not residents of Memphis either.

Furthermore, I’m heartbroken, over those mean comments about my personal hygiene problems. That hurts!

I’ll have you know, that where I grew up, we didn’t even wear shoes or socks all summer! Socks are important to me now.

And, so what, if I do get a “little Gamey” toward the end of the week. I want you to know that I take a bath every Saturday nite, whether I need it or not! (goin’ swimmin’ counts as bath.)

So… you readers oughta tune in next week to see what “slings and arrows of misfortune” ‘mean Chris’ will throw at me, Dave, a poor non-resident of Memphis, who is diligently striving for World Peace and Harmony!

Cipherin‘:

When you add up the votes.

The side that wins, is the one with the most.

“What if it’s a tie?” someone jokes.

Them I’m takin’ the last train to the coast!

At least I’ll still have the Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

Davis M. Burrus

New Replacement Trees Planted by Rutledge School Restoration Society

One more entry has been removed from the bucket list of the Rutledge School Restoration Society. Bob Hunolt, Lonnie Triplett, Oren Erickson, and Leon Trueblood recently rounded up their spades, water buckets, and measuring sticks to get two new American Linden trees planted (exactly as instructions for planting read) in the school yard.

These trees, when fully grown, will graciously replace the ever-popular Ash and Maple trees which, until early spring this year, had graced the school lawn for many decades. It was determined by the utility company the trees were a detriment to the electrical lines, so they had to go.

Thanks to Aaron Dannenhauer, the stumps were removed; and the sawdust from this grinding has appropriately mulched the new trees. The nursery-provided information claims the new trees to be well-adapted to Missouri daily weather change… so with hopes for fast growth, there will be shade on the Rutledge School lawn once again!

Three Teens Hurt When Vehicle Crashes Into Bridge

Three area teenagers were injured in a one-vehicle crash in Schuyler County at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 17th west of Greentop.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Allyssia J. Jackson, 17 of Queen City, was southbound on Ranch Road when she lost control of the 2003 Ford Escape on the gravel and collided with a bridge rail. The vehicle ran off the right side of the roadway, collided with a bridge support and overturned.

Jackson suffered moderate injuries in the crash as did a passenger in the vehicle, Paige A. Humphrey, 15, of Queen City. A second passenger in the car, Cobe J. Coop, 18, of Memphis suffered minor injuries.

Jackson and Humphrey were transported by Schuyler County Ambulance to Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville. Coop was taken by private vehicle to the Kirksville hospital.

The vehicle sustained moderate damage in the accident and was removed from the scene by Lakeside Towing of Memphis.

The Patrol was assisted at the scene by the Schuyler County Ambulance Service and the Schuyler County Sheriff’s Office.

Memphis Man Killed in Crash Near Arbela

A Memphis man was killed and another seriously injured in a two vehicle accident over the weekend in rural Scotland County.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Harley D. Stone, 24, of Memphis was killed when the 2015 Polaris Can Am all-terrain vehicle he was driving collided with a pickup truck on a hill crest on County Road 456 west of Arbela.

The Stone vehicle was eastbound when it crested the hill and met at the center of the road a westbound 2001 Dodge truck driven by Christopher M. Chabert, 29, of Memphis.

Stone and a passenger in his vehicle, Jacob A. Blessing, 21, of Memphis both were ejected from the ATV. Stone was pronounced deceased at the scene at 4:40 a.m. by Scotland County Coroner Dr. Jeff Davis. Blessing sustained serious injuries in the crash. He was transported by Scotland County Ambulance to University Hospital in Columbia.

Chabert was not injured in the crash, which occurred at 4:00 a.m. on May 20th. Chabert was ticketed for driving while intoxicated.

The Patrol was assisted at the scene by Scotland County Fire and Rescue, Scotland County Ambulance and Scotland County Sheriff’s Office.

SCR-I Band to Make ‘Long March’ to Washington DC to Take Part in National Memorial Day Parade

As residents of a rural school district, Scotland County R-I students are used to long bus rides. However on Thursday, some three dozen SCR-I musicians will be boarding a bus for a trip that will exceed their bus mileage for the year, just one-way.

At 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 24th the Scotland County R-I band, along with support staff, boosters and chaperones will be boarding a charter bus departing the SCR-I high school parking lot bound for Washington D.C. The public is invited to line the road to show the band support on its departure.

“Last minute preparations are well underway as the Marching Tigers are putting on the finishing touches on their performance,” said band Director Nathanial Orr. “You may even hear the band marching around town.”

The trip to the nation’s capital is more than 900 miles, with the group expecting to arrive on the East Coast  in time for lunch on Friday.

After the meal with tour manager Barbara Longnecker at Union Station, the group will take a tour of the U.S. Capitol before enjoying dinner at Bertucci’s Italian Restaurant. That evening the group will be treated to a parade at the Marine Barracks featuring the US Marine Band in full dress uniform.

Saturday will feature a full day of tours including stops at Lafayette Square, the White House and the National Archives Building, home of the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

After lunch they will visit Ford’s Theater where President Lincoln was assassinated before touring Arlington National Cemetery to witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The evening will conclude with tours of the US Air Force and Pentagon 9/11 Memorials, as well as the Jefferson, FDR and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorials.

The nation’s history will be on display again on Sunday as tour members will visit the Lincoln, and Vietnam and Korean War memorials as well as the US Holocaust Memorial Museum before spending the afternoon at the Smithsonian Institution’s museums. The evening will be capped off at the National Memorial Day Concert on the west lawn of the Capitol. The event will broadcast live on PBS.

Finally on Monday, the band members will get to work, participating in the National Memorial Day Parade.

“The band will be performing ‘Colonel Bogey March,’ a tune featured in ‘Bridge over a River Kwai’,” said Orr. “The color guard will be wearing homemade uniforms representing a different branch of the armed services.  Each member of the guard has a connection as parts of the uniform they will be wearing are from the uniform of their family members.”

Orr said the parade will be televised on the Armed Forces Network as well as streamed on YouTube.com, Military.com or NationalMemorialDayParade.com.

“Due to time constraints and commercial breaks, there is no guarantee that SCR-I will be televised,” he said.

Later that evening, the group will visit the World War II Memorial and place a Scotland County High School wreath at the base of the Missouri state marker.

Tuesday, day 6 of the event, will feature a trip to Mount Vernon, before boarding the tour bus at 2 p.m. for the return trip to Memphis. The group is expected to arrive back home Wednesday, May 30th around 9 a.m.

The trip has been made possible through the hard work of the band students and boosters as well as the generous contributions of local supporters. Work began last May after word was received the band had received the honor of participating in the national event. Numerous fundraisers were held over the next 12 months to fully fund the more than $1,000 price tag per band member for the trip.

Larry Gieseke to Address 72nd Annual Memorial Day Services

Larry Gieseke will be the featured speaker on Monday as the Wallace W. Gillespie Memorial Post #4958 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars hosts the 72nd Annual Memorial Day Services on the lawn of the Scotland County Courthouse.

The services will begin at 10 a.m. with Post Commander Lloyd Erickson and program chairman Donnie Middleton welcoming the crowd.

Veterans Floyd C. Baker and Mike Stephenson will perform the traditional wreath placement at the soldiers’ memorial on the southeast side of the courthouse. Fellow serviceman Bill Camp will lead the gathering in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Sonny Smyser of the Lancaster Church of Faith  will lead the invocation prior to the performance of the National Anthem by the Memphis Community Players, who will also provide additional patriotic music for the service.

Judge Gary Dial will again have the honor of introducing the service’s guest speaker.

Following Gieseke’s speech, veteran Jamie Parker will sing Sleep Soldier Boy.

Following the benediction by Smyser, the VFW members will present a 21 gun salute before the performance of taps by service member Melinda Briggs with ECHO played by Chris Kempke.

The service is open to the public. In case of inclement weather, the program will be moved indoors at the VFW post.

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