People came from far and wide, like Andrea, who drove in from Eugene, Oregon to get an autograph for her baby brother as a gift for his graduation from basic training this next Tuesday. 1719 miles and 27 hours later Andrea is standing in line, football in hand, to get the prize that will make her “best sister in the world”.
Was it a long drive? “Oh, very long, but very worth it, my brother is going to be so excited.” Of course, Jordy’s dad, Alan Nelson, was also seen loading Andrea up with a few more signables before she reached the autograph table.
Andrea may have been the one to travel the farthest, but she was not the only one to go the distance to get the autograph of Nelson. People from Colorado and Missouri, as well Kansas City, Clay Center and Wamego made the trek to Leonardville.
The autograph signing business is not new to Nelson and the organization of the event demonstrated that.
Fans quickly streamed through the weave of chairs and soon were able to get that autograph and take a picture with the star. Not everyone was there getting personal autographs, LewAnn Schneider, a Clay Center veterinarian, was garnering prizes for a fundraiser/auction sponsored by the Clay Center BPW.
Schneider’s auction is in conjunction with the Clay Center Car Show, which will be September 29th, a bye week for Kansas State football.
Being a K-state grad herself, a couple of the items were designated for family members. “ This is just an opportunity you can’t pass up.”
The autograph session is not the only event of the weekend though. On Saturday, the golf tournament, poker run and auction will get underway. The proceeds of the weekend are designated for the Cora Davies and Gracen and Gaige Wendland families.
Gracen & Gaige Wendland - sons of Josh and Danele Wendland - were born on June 23, 2011 and were premature at 25 weeks weighing 1 lb. 13 oz and 1 lb 15 oz. They spent the next 3 1/2 months in the NICU facing and overcoming many challenges. Both boys were placed on the ventilator when they were born due to the fact that their lungs weren't developed.
Cora Davies was born on July 17, 2011 to Adam and Lydia Davies. She was nothing shy of a healthy, beautiful baby girl. On September 28, 2011, she was diagnosed with a KHE vascular tumor in her lower left side of her back. She was admitted to Children Mercy Hospital, in Kansas City, MO where she under went many tests to determine what was wrong.
Cora had a MRI, CAT SCAN, CT SCAN, and a parasitizes, during the procedure they emptied a half of a liter of blood out of her stomach that the Tumor its self was letting off into her stomach. She they went under another surgery for a biopsy to determine if it was cancerous, the result confirmed that it was benign.
When they diagnosed her with the KHE vascular tumor, she began treatment at Children Mercy Hospital. She started Chemo Therapy and received the treatment once every other week for six months.
She underwent surgery to have a port put in place to receive her treatment, the port was put on her right side of her chest with a tube that went through her heart and one tube through her blood stream to receive her Chemo.
She is currently getting her chemo treatments once a month due to good lab work and great response to Chemo. They now make trips to Kansas City once a month for lab work. She will live with this tumor for the rest of her life.
But one thing is guaranteed for all three of these kids, and for the entire town of Leonardville, Jordy Nelson, NFL wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers, won’t drop the ball.