Category Archives: Announcements

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Braxton Shanek

Braxton Dale Shanek was born on July 22, 2017 at Conway Regional Medical Center.  He is almost six months old. Braxton’s parents are Dale and Mallory Shanek.  Braxton has no siblings since he is Dale and Mallory’s first child.  Braxton was born full term with no pregnancy complications. At birth, he was  diagnosed with meconium aspiration. While being bagged for the meconium  aspiration a hole was blown in one lung. This caused all of his organs to be pushed to  the side. Braxton was stabilized and rushed to Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Once  at ACH, he was placed on an ECMO machine. An ECMO machine is life support for  children. Braxton remained on life support for three and one half days.  Braxton spent six and one half weeks in NICU and then moved to ITU where he  stayed for 15 weeks. During his five month stay at ACH, Braxton was intubated  four times and had to be reintubated due to breathing complications. His throat  was scoped two times before it was determined that he would need to have a  tracheostomy and a G-tube inserted. Braxton takes nothing by mouth.The ENT  doctor that scoped his throat said when his throat collapses the scar tissue sticks  together and does not reopen and then ends up healing together resulting in his  airway closing. The ENT placed a stint in for seven weeks to try and open the  airway. The stink was successful. Also during this time, it was determined that  Braxton is blind. After seeing a corneal specialist at ACH he was diagnosed with a  rare form of blindness. His corneas don’t work properly. Braxton is only able to see  light. 


It took three months to have Braxton weaned off of the ventilator and two months  to be weaned off of morphine and methadone. 


Finally on December 21, 2017, Braxton was able to go home for the first time. It  was a short

Braxton, Mom, and Dad

stay because two weeks later he is now in Pittsburgh, PA for a corneal  eye transplant. Braxton now has two corneal transplants and he and his family will  have to remain in Pittsburgh for six to eight weeks. Hopefully his body will accept  the new corneas. The doctor is still unsure how well he will be able to see.  Braxton will have to have his trach for two to four years before it can be removed.    As the doctor explained to Dale and Mallory, “This is going to be a marathon, not a  sprint”. 


Dale works for Precision Pipeline. Mallory had to quit her job as a dietician to stay  home with Braxton. Braxton has to have two caregivers. Mallory’s mom, Sherri  Selman, is Braxton’s other caregiver since Dale works. 



Ethan Gutierrez


Ethan Rey Gutierrez is the 3 year old son of Brandon Gutierrez of Dardanelle and Krystal Rhinehart of Dardanelle. Ethan has one little brother named Jeremiah(4months) by his father Brandon, and stepmother Marily.


Ethan was having some leg pain, which we all thought was growing pains because he only mention that his leg had hurt a couple of times and then it was never spoken of again. A couple of weeks went by and I had noticed that he was getting tired quicker, he had bags under his eyes, he was getting sick more often and last but not least his leg pain was back. We took him to the doctor. I told her about everything that had been going on and she told me that she was going to run some blood tests on him. The test results was something that parents never wanted to hear. They immediately sent us to Children’s Hospital in Little Rock where he was later diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on January 17th 2018.


A disease that is very common in 3-5 year olds, and there is no known cause. The only comforting words in that moment was that we were also told that it’s a very curable disease. A couple of days later he had a bone marrow biopsy, lumbar puncture, and a port put in his chest. We were blessed with negative results from the lumbar puncture which meant that they didn’t find any cancer cells in his spine. He has gone through a few rounds of chemo and strong steroids. He will continue his treatments for the next three yeas, and then come in every six months to a year for blood work to make sure that the cancer doesn’t come back. He has his ups and downs, but overall he does the best he can to be the cheerful, goofy cowboy we all know. It’s going to be a long road ahead for all of us, but with the support of Ethan’s family and friend’s rooting him on, I know he is going to beat this disease! #PRAYFORETHAN #ETHANSTRONG

Ethan Gutierrez and Mom

2017 River Valley Superhero 5k

We are a little late at posting this year, but here is the story of this year’s superhero:

Aiden Tucker Watters is the 15 year old son of Jeremy Watters (wife Kathy) of Morrilton and Summer James (husband Jeff) of Plumerville. Aiden has three brothers (Drew-19, Daeron-18, Blake-14) and one sister (Sydnie-12). Aiden and his family have had several difficult events since November 2016. His stepmother, Kathy, had an illness that required major surgery and an extended recovery time. During this same month, Aiden’s stepfather, Jeff, lost his battle with liver disease and renal cell carcinoma. The family hoped that December would be a better month. However, Aiden developed a bad cough the week of his stepfather’s funeral. Not long after that, he started having shortness of breath. He was taken to his family physician. When the doctor did a chest x ray, it was apparent that something was not right. Aiden and his family were sent immediately to Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Aiden was quickly examined and after several tests, the family heard the news that a parent never wants to hear. Aiden had a very large mass in his chest that was causing severe respiratory distress. The mass was caused by T-Cell Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.
Aiden completed his first induction of chemotherapy in January 2017 at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. He has had several bumps along the way. The most recent being a large blood clot in his right arm that required another week long hospital stay. However, the doctors are pleased with his progress. Aiden’s form of ALL has a 99% remission rate. He still has a long road to complete remission. However, Aiden is a very determined, strong young man. He and his family cannot wait to see what the future holds for Aiden. #AidensArmy

2015 Awards

Below is the list of awards for the 2015 River Valley Superhero 5K.  I realize we had several issues with timing on race day, but I hope that the kinks have been worked out.  However, if you feel that the information provided is not accurate, please let us know and we will do what we can to correct it.  If you are listed to receive an award and did not receive one but would like one, please contact us via email or Facebook so that we can arrange a date and time to meet.  If you received an award at the race but are now not listed to receive an award, we apologize for the confusion… you may keep the award presented.

Timing Awards

The Holland Family


This year’s superhero is Liam “He-Man” Holland and is hands down the bravest baby we have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Diagnosed with neuroblastoma only hours after birth, Liam is an amazing little guy that is less than a year old! Liam is the son of Devin and Elizabeth Holland of Russellville. His sister, Madi, is four years old. His cancer affects his kidney and the surrounding area. Liam has undergone several rounds of chemo at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and was referred to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for a surgery consult. On January 29, 2015 Liam was officially deemed cancer free after an operation was conducted to remove the tumor. Although the battle isn’t completely over, the outlook for Liam is spectacular!