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South Texas Living

Determined to win

Determined to win
Courtney Winningham is determined to win her battle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. To help her meet her ongoing medical, travel, and other expenses, a benefit is set for Saturday, May 3, in the Stockdale City Park.

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Pascalle Bippert
WCN Correspondent
April 23, 2014
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The 24-year-old from Stockdale was two weeks away from insurance coverage at her job at a patient facility for teens in San Marcos and was planning her November wedding, when she started getting bad headaches and blurred vision.

She was taken to an Austin hospital emergency room, where blood tests revealed her white blood cell count was very high. Courtney was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

She started chemotherapy right away and put her wedding plans on hold. Courtney moved back home to live with her mother, Kathy Fowler, in Stockdale.

It’s been a blow for someone whose friends describe her as the “girl with the contagious smile and the ability to make others laugh when they need it most.”

Her hair started to fall out in big chunks; her eyebrows and eyelashes went away as well. Courtney asked the nurses in the hospital to go ahead and shave her head, and they threw her a head-shaving party.

Her next step is to receive a bone marrow transplant. A good match has been found, but she’s still waiting for the call from the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Once there, she must be in residence a minimum of 100 days; she’ll need to rent an apartment with a filtered air supply, because she can’t breathe all the pathogens and microbes in normal air.

All of this must be paid for, however, and Courtney has no insurance coverage at all.

Benefit May 3

Katie Woods, Courtney’s friend and proposed maid of honor, and Courtney’s mother have organized a fund-raiser to offset medical and travel expenses Saturday, May 3, in the Stockdale City Park beginning at noon. The “Backyard Burners” team will offer barbecue plates featuring a half-chicken with cowboy potatoes and beans for $8 per plate.

The event will include a blood drive and bone marrow registry drive from noon to 3 p.m., as well as volleyball, horseshoe, washer, and basketball tournaments, along with face-painting, snow cones, and cotton candy for the youngsters. There will also be a silent auction and music by “Hwy 87 South.”

Monetary donations also are welcome to help Courtney meet her ongoing expenses. Bank accounts are set up at First Convenience Bank inside H-E-B and Walmart to accept funds for her travel, medical, and lodging expenses.

To enter the volleyball, horseshoe, washer, or basketball tournaments, call Crystal at 830-534-1554.

For more information or to donate to the silent auction, contact Katie Woods at 830-534-3614 or

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