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Gigantic basket social benefits two special people

Jacquie Moser, event coordinator at New Life Evangelical Lutheran Church, New Tripoli, said the basket social was benefiting two people.

The first was a 1-year-old with kidney cancer. The other was a young woman, struck by a pickup truck, who has since had 66 surgeries.

Some 476 baskets lined the long hallway and the fellowship hall in the church. In addition to the regular baskets and gift certificates, there were 11 large items in the church lobby.

Owen Rex’s mother, Samantha, said cancer may have started the fight but they will fight back.

The youngster has Wilms bilateral tumor or nephroblastoma, the most common type of kidney tumor found in children.

His mother said he goes to Muhlenberg Hospital for treatment and to the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania for surgery.

Samantha had to quit her job to take care of Owen. Insurance was covering the cost but then it denied coverage. They are hoping it will approve Owen again. Because she had to quit work, finances are especially tight.

The second individual benefiting from the fundraiser is Jennifer Dietrich.

“I was crossing Route 873 in Schnecksville two years ago and got hit by a truck,” Dietrich said. “I don’t remember much about it.”

She was transported to Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Township, and 66 surgeries followed.

She is staying at ManorCare because she needs around the clock care.

Her legs need compression stockings because her lymphatic system was damaged.

Dietrich said she sleeps in a bed part of the night and then has to move to a chair.

Friends and relatives Kenneth, Dorothy and Corey, her mother Delores Miller, Mandy, Molly and Brennen Scott and Jesse Miller accompanied her to the social.

The Krysta Hankee Memorial Fund donated a number of the baskets.

“This is awesome that they do this,” said Kay Beers of Allentown.

Craig Wilt and Samantha Rex of Germansville, Owen's parents, had to come down to his level for a picture because he was too busy to be held.