- Associated Press - Sunday, December 6, 2015

JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) - Two-year-old Kacee Sain bounces around the living room, singing what can only be described as a mix between the “Itsy-Bitsy Spider” and “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”

She loves her Elmo and her stuffed teddy bear and is more than willing to share if you’re willing to play. She practices her ABC’s with her grandmother, oblivious that grandma is fighting for her life and has been for the past four years.

Tiffany Wiley was first diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2011. The disease has progressed to stage IV, and she now receives blood transfusions once a month. Some days are filled with vomiting and weakness that keep her in bed, she said.

Wiley’s family is one that readers can help through this year’s Brighter Christmas Fund. In its 43rd year, the Brighter Christmas Fund is a community outreach program that provides gifts for Christmas and money and other items to families in need throughout the year. Families featured in The Jackson Sun are referred and screened by area social service agencies. The Wiley family was referred by Hospice of West Tennessee. The case name for the family is BCF-3.

In July, Wiley was referred to Hospice of West Tennessee with a life expectancy of six months.

As those months began to wind down, it was an ad on television that gave the Wiley family a glimmer of hope.

Tiffany’s oldest daughter (and Kacee’s mother) Kendra was watching television in the family’s Whiteville home when she learned of an experimental drug intended for Tiffany’s condition.

Tiffany, no stranger to experimental drug treatments, decided to contact her doctor about the program. “It can’t hurt,” she said. “I’ve tried so many other things. So, I made an appointment and went to the doctor.”

Dec. 1 marked the first day of her trial.

And while Tiffany hopes the new trial will extend her life through the holidays, the bills are piling up - and she would like to see her daughters and granddaughter have a Christmas with a little less stress.

And with that, the hospice contacted Area Relief Ministries, looking to give the family a shot at a “brighter Christmas.”

Tiffany said she has learned to harness the anger felt by so many others given terminal diagnoses. She said that helps her on the days the disease is more physically demanding.

But as far as getting over the anger completely, “I haven’t,” she admitted. “I’ve learned to deal with it better … because it wasn’t helping me physically, being angry all the time.”

But despite the anger, Tiffany tries to keep a positive approach. “Every time I turn around and I think I hit a hard spot, God’s always looking out for me,” she said. “I’m blessed every day that I wake up in the morning.”

As the experimental drug program begins and the holiday nears, Tiffany would like to have some new clothes to give to her 14-year-old daughter Kerrion - and maybe a new Elmo for Kacee to play with.

But this year, there’s one thing that ranks higher on the family’s Christmas wish list.

“I’d like to hear remission,” Tiffany said.

Donations also can be made online at areareliefministries.org/bcf


Information from: The Jackson Sun, https://www.jacksonsun.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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