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Fri, March 22

Winter Wonderland Ball to raise money for Kaylee to be closer to doctors, family

Kaylee and her family have to relocate to Maryland to be closer to her doctors in Pittsburgh. Kaylee has the chance for a life-changing opportunity by undergoing a 12- to 18-hour surgery. One of the last times she was admitted to the hospital was during Christmas. (Photos courtesy of Stephanie Sass)

Kaylee and her family have to relocate to Maryland to be closer to her doctors in Pittsburgh. Kaylee has the chance for a life-changing opportunity by undergoing a 12- to 18-hour surgery. One of the last times she was admitted to the hospital was during Christmas. (Photos courtesy of Stephanie Sass)

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https://kdminer.c...">Winter Wonderland Ball location changed

The Winter Wonderland Ball, raising money for Kaylee Sass and her family, has been moved to The Grand Events Center, 515 Beale St. The event is still from 6-10 p.m. Saturday.

Once upon a time in the City of Kingman, there lived a 10-year-old girl named Kaylee Sass. In this town, she lives with family and friends who are always there to help her when she is in need. Each day she tries to live life to the fullest, but some days are tougher than others.  

Kaylee was born with two mutations. One caused her to lose a kidney and the other, the PRSS1 gene, causes her pancreas to break down itself rather than the food she eats.  

There are times when she has to spend multiple nights in the hospital, sometimes she can’t eat, and if she does it has to be a low-fat diet – sometimes even water is too much.  

When her pancreas has had enough she will have “flare ups” or “attacks,” and that’s when she has to be admitted into the hospital. Kaylee and her family have spent plenty of holidays in the hospital for most of her life.

Doctors have told Kaylee’s mom, Stephanie, there isn’t much research on the disease she has, there is very little medication, and she could die at anytime.

Despite the doctors’ words, Stephanie hasn’t given up on finding a cure for her daughter.

Stephanie has spent days and nights researching the PRSS1 gene. One day she found a research clinic in Pennsylvania that focuses on the genetics of the pancreas.

After finding out about the clinic, Stephanie raised money to take Kaylee to see a doctor to learn if she qualified for a special procedure called islet cell transplant, which involves taking cells from the pancreas and injecting them into the liver so the liver can train itself to work as both the liver and pancreas.

The procedure Kaylee will undergo for 12 to 18 hours is called the Total Pancreatectomy with Islet Autotransplantation. The procedure removes the spleen, gallbladder, pancreas and part of the intestines. Three surgical teams will work on Kaylee, rotating during the surgery.

“Approximately 48 surgeons will be taking care of her during this time,” Stephanie said.

The clock never struck midnight, and Kaylee was lucky enough to see the doctor before it was too late.

After the visit with the doctor in Pennsylvania, Kaylee and her family were told she is eligible for the procedure, but the family lives too far away and it can be dangerous traveling back and forth from Kingman to Pittsburgh.

“Instead of separating our family, we are going to relocate,” Stephanie said.

Kaylee and her family are relocating to Maryland because it’s in their budget, but it’s still six hours away from Pittsburgh.

One night Stephanie had a dream that a big ball was thrown to help raise money to relocate. She has made this dream a reality.

The Winter Wonderland Ball is from 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12 at the Mohave County Fairgrounds at 2600 Fairgrounds Ave. Tickets are $25 for singles and $40 for couples. Ticket prices will go up at the door.

The ball will have dinner, a free dessert bar, spirits, music and a photographer. There will be a silent auction, a selfie station and a raffle.

Dinner consists of two choices of pasta and three choices of sauces, salad and bread for $8. There is a free dessert bar with about 30 options and a warm-up station with coffee, hot cocoa, and apple cider. Special song requests with a message can be made for $2.

The event is for those 21 and older.

Don’t forget the glass slipper. The ball is formal, but no one will be turned away if dressed otherwise. There are also VIP tables available.

The Sass family would like to thank Freedom Apparel, Graves U-Haul, FroYo Island, Union Mortgage, Mohave Museum, Cerbat Lanes, Kingman Furniture and everyone who has donated and helped with the event.

All proceeds will go to Kaylee and her family to relocate and be closer to her specialists, and go through the procedure that could change her life.

To purchase tickets, visit https://bit.ly/2LWizTn. For more information, visit Team Kaylee Sass Facebook page, or email Stephanie at best.mom.around@gmail.com.

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