Last but not least on the updated list is Allyson McClellan of Cloverdale, the little blonde dynamo whose big heart and personality can fill a room. Allyson is a second-grader at Cloverdale Elementary School and a precious young child. Allyson has rhabdomyosarcoma a rare type of cancer. she has been embraced mightily by her community. As a small child she had kidney cancer, so this is a second battle with a different type of cancer. The out pouring of support for her and her family has been miraculous from her brother’s middle school friends to complete strangers, people have opened their hearts and wallets and most importantly her mother Michelle has said on her care page, “offered up their prayers” for the little girl and her family.
The family has had the loss of a loved one, Michelle’s father, to deal with in the midst of the treatments. Fundraisers have been held including Allyson’s 5K in early October. People have reached out to the family.
Yet it hasn’t been an all bad year. On Fridays in the fall, Emily the older sister and her friends cheered on the sidelines along with Allyson at the LBHS football games.
The family got to ride on a donated hot air balloon ride and picked the leaves from tree tops from the gondola basket. Her brother Nathan’s football team, the Botetourt Crusaders coached by Dad Chris McClellan, won the rec league Super Bowl in their age group.
In spite of the harshness of treatments, so far so good. Allyson has three chemo treatments left and those will end on January 21. On good weeks she gets to go to school all week. She and her best friend Bridget Peeters, all smiles after a fun holiday school party, have been watching television. They are typical little girl friends enjoying time together. Allyson gives big hugs dressed in her striped tights and red and white Christmas frock and fur hat. It was so good to see her full of fun again.
The family wanted to thank every one who has helped make the treatments more bearable and for all of the support from the community. “Botetourt is a wonderful place,” said Chris McClellan in the front yard of their home. So far so good. 2009 they hope will be a better year.