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February 13, 2013     Hays Free Press
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February 13, 2013
 

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+ HaysFreePress.com TOP PAY See how do top paid Buda and Kyle employees pare up. - Page 1C February 13, 2013 * Page 1C BUDA The daywe have been waiting for is finally here.., the ribbon cut- ting for the beautiful new Onion Creek Senior Center in Buda will be Thursday, Feb. 14 at 11:30 a.m. A noon lunch will be available for $4. The center is located at 420 Bartons Crossing, just off FM 2770. Ya'll come! Also on the subject of the senior citizens, a giant indoor garage sale will be held at the "old" center on Saturday, Feb. 23 starting at 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. The sale will be held rain or shine since it is all indoors. Mark your calendar and stop by at the corner of FM 2770 and Bartons Crossing in Buda for many great bargains. Congratulations are in or- der for Jan Atkins and Curtiss Mecusker who were married last Saturday and are now on a honeymoon cruise. Anniversary wishes go out to Veronica and Pat Vallejo on Valentine's Day as they cel- ebrate 29 years of marriage. Birthday wishes go out on Valentine's Day to Jim Hol- lis and Hope Palacios; Sara Grizzle on Feb. 15; Bill Bur- tell, Julia Castro, Mike Davis and Tete Rodriguez on Feb. 16; Porter Bums and Nolan Kunkel on Feb. 17; Deannie Kunkel on Feb. 18; Kelly Slovak on Feb. 19 and Tim Warming- ton on Feb. 20. Buda Scout Troop 967 will hold a flag retirement celebra- tion on President's Day, Feb. 18 at 5:30 p.m. at Stagecoach Park Amphitheater. The public is invited to attend. W ose heart does not he with word of a issing family pet? Sheba and Tori belong next door to me. They went missing " the night of the twins' birthday, Jan. 2, when the girls forgot to reatfix radio collars after a walk. (The girls are calling their new rescue dog "IMeJe". Can you figure out how the Smith-Medlocks name their dogs? One. Two. Three. If you guessed, after famous queens, you guessed right.) Usually no invis~le fence radio collar would be no problem. But, some here or nearby were shoot- ing fireworks. I remember. It was the night of RonTom's birthday, too. BoD and KissMe jumped into their kitchen window with a unique, "Rut~. Ruff". I stepped outside and heard rapid popping. Dear Neighbors, it's one thing to lose a pet on NewYear's Eve orthe Fourth of July, when most pet owners take extreme mea- sures to confine their beloved See MONTAGE, pg. 2C PHOTO COURTESY OF THERESA MORENO Mark and Theresa Moreno of Kyte are spending time together in Mark's hospital room at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston as he recov- ers from complications from a blood cord transplant. Mark, 24, was diagnosed with Leukemia in April 2012. Theresa said she worked when he was young so they are "catching up on Mom and Mark time." BY KIM HILSENBECK kim@haysfreepress.com 201 r wasarughyear fr ,7 Kyle resident Mark k-' Moreno, 24, and his family. So far, 2013 is looking up. After a diagnosis last April of Leuke- mia, Mark's family held a bone marrow drive at Dahlstrom Middle School to find a match. Nearly 100 people turned up to see if their marrow was compat- ible with Mark's. Theresa Moreno, Mark's mother, said while they were hopeful with one of the potential donors, that match did not pan out. However, she said Mark re- ceived a blood cord transplant in early December 2012. Mark, a 2006 Hays High graduate and member of the Texas State Bobcat band, went to the dentist in April 2012 with a toothache. Little did he know his illness was Leukemia, and that he would need a compatible marrow match. But Mark was lucky with the blood cord transplant. Blood cord is the um- bilical cord that doctors cut off newborns after they are delivered. Mothers can make the choice to save them for their children, donate them or discard them. "I really appreciate that a woman donated her blood cord," Theresa said. But the transplant was not with- out problems, she said. Mark's body showed signs of rejection. "They call it graft vs. host disease," Theresa said. Doctors call it GVHD. According to the Leukemia and Lym- phoma Society, GVHD develops when the donor's immune cells mistakenly attack the patient's nqrmal cells. The disease can be mild, moderate or se- vere. It can also be life threatening. "He spent the holidays in the hos- pital," she said. "Mark went into the Intensive Care Unit right after the transplant." She said he developed flu-like respi- ratory issues in his lungs along with a high heart rate, a rash, stomach cramps and other symptoms. Theresa said the rest of her family had come back to Kyle while she stayed with Mark at M.D. Anderson in Hous- ton. The family rented an apartment while Mark is in the hospital. "I was alone and scared when he went into ICU, but I didn't want to let him know," she said. "I'm trying to stay positive." Mark is now out of ICU and in good spirits, Theresa said. "He doesn't want to disappoint me," she said. But Mark still needs occupational and physical therapy because he is so weak from the transplant ordeal and subsequent GVHD. "He was so weak and bed-ridden. He had no appetite," she said. "And the medication makes him nauseous." Theresa said during the holidays, it was hard for her to visit Mark because she got sick and couldn't compromise his immune system with her germs. She said spending the time with Mark now, even under these circum- stances, has been good for them. She said when he was young, she worked and didn't get to see him as much. "Now, we're catching up on Morn and Mark time," she said. They paint, do clay sculpting, and play games such as Battleship and cards - all things that help improve his dexterity and motor skills. Overall, she said he is showing daily improvement. Theresa said the nurses and doctors at MD Anderson make her and Mark's time there easier. "The staffis wonderful," she said. "They show such compassion." Theresa said she is hopeful that she and Mark will be able to leave the hos- pital soon and stay in the apartment for a few months. "We hope to be back in Kyle by mid- spring," she said. Blood cord is the umbilical cord that doctors cut off newborns after they are delivered. Mothers can make the choice to save them for their children, donate them or discard them. Facts about blood cord transplants The U.S. Congress passed the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005 and the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Reauthorization Act of 2010. These acts include support for umbilical cord blood transplantation and research. Cord blood is an investigational prod- uct, not licensed by FDA; it has been used (as an alternative to bone marrow) as a source of hematopoietic stem cells for several years. More than 15,000 cord blood transplants have been performed worldwide through 2009. In the United States, more than one half of all stem cell transplants from unre- lated donors in children now use cord blood. Studies suggest that cord blood may not need to match as closely as is re- quired for a marrow donor. Umbilical cord blood may be especially promising for patients who... Have difficulty finding a matched mar- row donor, Are from diverse heritages who often have an uncommon tissue type, Have a life-threatening genetic disorder, or Need a transplant quickly. COURTESY PHOTO Sheriff Gary Cutler recently recognized Lieutenant Dennis Gutierrez for his 25 years of dedicated service with the Hays County Sheriff's Of- rice. Gutierrez is currently the Commander of the Criminal Investigation Division. Cutler said Gutierrez is also dedicated to the Hays County community including his 23-year involvement with Brown Santa as well as his involvement with the Sunshine Kids. As a token of gratitude, Cutler presented Gutierrez with a Texas flag that was flown over the Hays County Sheriff's Office on Feb. 7, the date that marks his 25-year anniversary. From left to right are Sheriff Gary Cutler, Chief Deputy Jamie Page, Lieutenant Dennis Gutierrez, wife Sharla Gutierrez, son Dennis Michael Gutierrez, and daughter Marissa Gutierrez. Time aln One very important vegetable to consider for your garden this year is asparagus. It has a delicious flavor when served with melted butter, is very good for your health, and will be productive for 15 years or more. Garden asparagus, named from the Greek word aspara- gos, which means sprout or shoot, has been cultivated since ancient times. The world's oldest surviving recipe book (from the third century) even refers to it. This culinary vegetable is a genus in the lily family. It grows a lateral primary root and then sends its shoots above ground when the weather warms up in the spring. Establishing an asparagus rowin your garden is fairly easy. Since it takes 2 to 3 years to mature from seed to edible size, you can save a lot of time by planting 'crowns' that are already 2 years old. (These are available in local nurseries and garden centers.) Locate your plants in a well- drained, sunny spot. Since they are perennials, usually a sunny location along a fence line or along an edge of the garden is best. This way they can be left alone when you dig up your vegetable patch between seasons. The asparagus row itself should be tilled or plowed to a depth of 12 inches. You should blend adequate organic matter, such as compost and fertilizer, with the garden soil. Fortu- nately, asparagus thrives in our alkaline soil. Make a deep trench one foot deep down the middle of the row and plant the asparagus crowns at 12 to 18 inch inter- vals, spreading the side roots out along the trench. Cover the crowns with 2 to 3 inches of soil. Firm around the roots and water in. As the first season progress- es, add soil to the trench until it is full by fall. With the asparagus crowns as deep as 12 inches, the surface of the bed can be cultivated and lightly tilled to control weeds without hurting the crowns. The shoots grow to a height of 2 to 4 feet. They then open into feathery foliage which has small greenish-white flowers. The spears are usually har- vested in the spring at a height of 4 to 6 inches. As harvesting continues, the spears will be- come more thin and wispy. When they become smaller than the diameter of a pencil, harvesting should stop. This will enable the shoots to grow into feathery branches that will supply renewed energy to the roots. In the fall, after the first frost has browned the foliage, the stems should be cut back to ground level. You should then heap gener- ous amounts of organic fertil- izer upon the asparagus row or bed. The rains of winter carry the fertilizer to the roots which will grow and produce edible sized "spears" in the spring. See ASK CHRIS, pg. 3C +