Tuesday, September 30, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Littlest Aggie Alyssa Kalb means so much to so many

0227alyssaW

The littlest Aggie, Alyssa Kalb, smiles while watching her "adopted sisters" at a recent UCD women's gymnastics practice. The team has welcomed Alyssa, who has a brain tumor, into the Aggie family. Courtesy photo

By
From page B1 | February 27, 2014 |

She’s won the hearts of Aggie gymnasts, this Foresthill 6-year-old, Alyssa Kalb.

“Adopted” earlier this month by the UC Davis women’s team, Alyssa has had a chance to attend meets and workouts.

She’s dabbled in some of her new sisters’ events and now even has her own cubbyhole at the Aggie practice facility.

How did little Alyssa get so lucky? Unfortunately, by being terribly unlucky.

Alyssa has a brain tumor — and for this Aggie ray of sunshine, the fight has been demanding, exhausting. Chemotherapy, MRIs, anesthesia, tests … all cloaked by uncertainty.

“With everything that Alyssa has endured, it truly is exciting to see her as a ‘normal’ 6-year-old and having fun with no worries,” mom Terry told The Enterprise. “The team has opened their hearts up to our family. It is exciting to watch the kids at their practice, play and just have fun.

“Being able to watch (the Aggie women’s) practices and meets are a distraction to our everyday lives.”

Along with husband Rick and Alyssa’s other siblings — Alexis, 8, and Ricky, 4 — the Kalbs will be in attendance Friday at The Pavilion when UC Davis meets Seattle Pacific in a dual meet.

Alyssa’s courage will be celebrated during what is being called Friends of Jaclyn Night. UCD also salutes Aggie seniors Madeline Kennedy, Anna Shumaker and Regi Solvkjar.

The rotations begin at 7 p.m.

Founded in 2005, the Friends of Jaclyn work to improve the quality of life for children (and their families) who are affected by pediatric brain tumors. Namesake Jaclyn Murphy was 9 years old when she was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.

At the time, she was “adopted” by the Northwestern women’s lacrosse team and the Wildcats won the first of what became seven straight NCAA titles.

Good-luck charm Jaclyn started winning, too. Today, she’s a sophomore at Marist College.

For Alyssa, her first month as an Aggie has been super …

“I have 17 big sisters,” she says. “They’re nice. I think they are very loving to me. I can play in the foam pit, jump on the trampoline … watch my big sisters practice!”

Alyssa says she wants to be a gymnast someday, and knowing that she’s been wearing some way-cool Aggie gear (compliments of the team) recently, it’s no secret where she’ll be headed to college.

“Does she have skills?” UCD floor-exercise specialist and co-captain Kennedy repeats the question. “Impressive skills. She’s fearless.”

“We are honored to be a part of the dedication,” Terry Kalb adds. “Most of all, this is another step to bringing awareness to children living with brain tumors. Friends of Jaclyn is a wonderful and simple program and it has brought a different level of happiness to Alyssa and our family.”

Thinking back to Jaclyn Murphy’s experience — where both she and her new family reached new levels after joining forces — everyone hopes there’s a similar relationship taking place between the Aggie women and Alyssa’s health.

While UCD discovered this week it received its best-ever national ranking of No. 31, the Kalb family got terrific news about Alyssa’s health …

“Alyssa’s tumor is stable,” mom says, spreading the news on the family’s Facebook page. “The radiologist said it shrank a little. We are good with stable.”

Amazing what a little love can do for one’s well-being.

Notes: Former Aggie quarterback Austin Heyworth found Alyssa — who was diagnosed in 2012 — and discovered her favorite sport is gymnastics. He approached UCD coach John Lavallee. “I brought this to the team and it took them a half of a second to decide this was the right thing to do,” Lavallee says. “This is a very talented gymnastics team; they are very accomplished students, but really they are just amazing individuals. I think this is what Aggie Pride is all about.” … Heyworth is a special assistant to state Assembly Speaker John Pérez and got involved with the Friends of Jaclyn group after his friend Greg Campbell was diagnosed with a tumor last year. Campbell, also a former Aggie footballer, is Pérez’s chief of staff. … “Meeting Alyssa was a whirlwind of emotions,” Aggie co-captain Shumaker remembers. “She has been through so much that having the opportunity to be a part of her life and make her life better is the coolest thing ever.”

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at bgallaudet@davisenterprise.net or 530-320-4456.

Comments

comments

Bruce Gallaudet

.

News

Man on a mission: Rob White seeks to transform Davis

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Poppenga outlines ambitious agenda

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Cool Davis Festival is très chill

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Find the perfect club or organization to join

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C2 | Gallery

 
Forum examines Props. 1 and 2 on November ballot

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Pets of the week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Assembly candidates will be at Woodland forum

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
California approves landmark ‘yes means yes’ law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

TSA bomb training may be noisy

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Try out basic yoga on Thursday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

DCC welcomes students with free lunch

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Gibson House hosts plant sale and garden event

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Register to vote by Oct. 20

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
UCD, University College Dublin will cooperate on food, health

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Accessibility technology on exhibit at fair

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Covell Gardens breakfast benefits Komen Foundation

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Put your hoes down and celebrate the harvest

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Panelists discuss raising children with special needs

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

DCC hosts fair-trade gift sale on Oct. 11

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Emerson gives away old textbooks

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Number of wheels: How many bicycles do you have in your household?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C5 | Gallery

 
Fraud Awareness Fair set Oct. 15 in West Sac

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Downtown history tour planned in October

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
DMTC makes musical theater accessible to everyone

By Bev Sykes | From Page: C9 | Gallery

 
Take home a wreath from Davis Flower Arrangers’ meeting

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

Snapshot: A night out with the neighbors

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C10

 
Davis school names reflect interesting history

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: C12

Snapshot: Plenty of places to park it

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C14

 
Snapshot: Dive into Davis fun

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C15

Snapshot: Kick garbage to the curb

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C16

 
Snapshot: Sounds like a party

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C17

.

Forum

He seems happy at home

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
The great bedtime conspiracy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

They’re best-prepared to lead

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Vibrant and hard-working

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Archer has the right stuff

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

Get on your bikes to meet Davis’ greenhouse gas goals

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Marsh case shows need for ‘Maupin’s Law’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

.

Sports

 
Only 15 months out of UCD, Runas off to LPGA Tour

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Davis golfers get teaching moments in forfeit win

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
‘Playoff game’ or missed chance? Either way the Aggies move on

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils move atop league standings with win

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Two Junior Blue Devil squads emerge victorious

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
.

Features

.

Arts

‘Art Farm’ exhibition will open in Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Acclaimed guitarist Peppino D’Agostino to play The Palms

By Landon Christensen | From Page: A9

 
Woodland artist hosts event at her new studio

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

I-House film series continues with ‘Monsieur Lazhar’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Pleasant Valley Boys cool down Picnic in the Park

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Michael Allen Hanks Baxter

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Anne Elizabeth Elbrecht

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

 
Comics: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7