San Gabriel Valley Tribune
February 11, 2011
By Juliette Funes, Staff Writer
Fundraiser planned for 4-year-old Walnut girl with brain cancer
WALNUT - Like any other 4-year-old girl, Jayden Rain Hankins is a social butterfly who is all about tea parties, playing dress up and running around with her puppy, Julia.
On Monday this Walnut girl will begin her fourth round of chemotherapy to battle a rare form of brain cancer discovered in October.
"She has her moments, but I try my best to focus on positive things to try to encourage her. She shows a lot of strength through this," said Demontray Hankins, Jayden's dad. "If she had all her hair, you'd never know anything was wrong with her."
After a three-week stay at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Jayden has been home from for a little more than a week, providing those sweet childish moments that her parents relish.
"I'm so excited," said Jayden on Thursday morning while wearing a pink princess sweater and beanie. She was headed for fun.
"I get to go to Disneyland and the zoo." She is back home to attend a special event being held in her honor by Hankins and Lisa Soliz, her mom.
They are hosting a Walk for Rain charity fundraiser from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Walnut High School, 400 N. Pierre Road.
The girl's soccer team, which Soliz was a member of while a student at the school, is sponsoring the event.
"We're all from Walnut," said Hankins, 23, a former Walnut high track member. "All our friends and family are from Walnut, so why not put on my own walk for her and dedicate it to her?"
It's also a chance to raise awareness, Soliz said.
"We do need to raise money in case she does need further treatment out of state," she said. "If it comes back, we're going to fight it." Jayden was diagnosed with supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumors, a childhood cancer that forms in the part of the brain that controls learning, senses emotions, speech and voluntary movement.
"It's been really hard," said Soliz, a student at Cal Poly Pomona. "Right now she's the only thing I do." Jayden had surgery to remove the large mass on the right side of her brain and began chemotherapy in November.
"The first thing she'll think is, `Wow, is this all for me?' and it will help encourage her and be really good for her to see," Hankins said.. Registration is $5 for each member of a team, or $10 for individual walkers. Participants can also sign up on the day of the event. Donations also can be mailed to the school. Checks can be made out to the Walnut High School Girls Soccer, with Charity Walk Jayden Hankins written on the memo line.
As for Jayden, she had other things to think about Thursday.
"I'll make sure to say `Hi' to Tinkerbell for you," she said.
Jayden Hankins, 4, pictured with her mother Lisa Solliz, 23, and father Demontray "Dee" Hankins, 23, all of Walnut, as Jayden holds a get well card her church made for her. Jayden has been diagnosed with Supratentorial Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumors (PNET) in October 2010.(SGVN/Staff photo by Rachel Luna)
Jayden Hankins, 4, of Walnut, plays in her room with her toys and shows her favorite teddy bear, which has a pretend line to give her bear medication, just as Hankins also has to do to take her medication. (SGVN/Staff photo by Rachel Luna)