Etcetera - 04/07/11

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Devin Bailey has endured more than his fair share of challenges during his brief lifetime.

Phyllis Bishop says her 9-year-old grandson, born with Down Syndrome, was diagnosed in 2007 with leukemia. His family thought he was cured after 31/2 years of treatment at Sacred Heart Children's Hospital in Spokane.

A port installed in his chest allowed for chemotherapy treatments. But in February the leukemia came back. It's in his right eye, which has sustained 14 radiation doses so far.

He's in a two-year program where he'll receive radiation to his brain to prevent the cancer from spreading, Phyllis said. He's been in Spokane for several weeks to be close to medical attention, Phyllis said.

Devin's getting sick a lot and his fine, sandy brown hair has fallen out.

The Green Park Elementary School fourth-grader is the son of Lisa Donaldson of Walla Walla.

"He's a such a good little boy and very brave and very funny," Phyllis said. "Anyone he comes in contact with is better off for knowing him."

"Wherever we go, he stops to visit with people. He sees good in everyone and has taught me so much. He's funny, he's caring; I can't say enough about him. I just love him dearly.

"He's touched so many people around him," she added. He loves Jesus and attending Valley Christian Church to praise the Lord, she said.

Donations to help with his expensive treatment may be made to the Devin Bailey Account at any Baker Boyer Bank branch, 7 W. Main St., 1530 Plaza Way or 1931 E. Isaacs Ave.

According to his parents, Andrew Buttice likes math. At a recent contest, "He just wanted to win once and we were humbled by how many times his name was called," said his mother, Suzie Buttice.

A member of Explorers, Andrew scored first place overall, plus eight first-place ribbons, one second place ribbon and one perfect score ribbon in the Walla Walla Valley Elementary Mathematics Contest March 12. Edison Elementary took first place as top-scoring school.

A Berney Elementary fifth grader, Andrew will attend Pioneer Middle School this fall. Andrew lives in Walla Walla with his mom, and dad, Scott Buttice. His grandparents are Merridy and Dave Buttice and Steve and Debbie Ballard, all of Walla Walla.

Teams of fourth- and fifth-grade students from area schools worked for months with local teachers and coaches to prepare for the event, held March 19 at Edison, said Mark Higgins, Walla Walla Public Schools communications director.

They took tests in addition/subtraction, multiplication/division, patterns/spatial relations and problem solving.

Between the testing and the awards ceremony, the contestants enjoyed a pizza lunch provided by the school district, Mark said. Laura Schueller, a Whitman math professor and two-time Walla Walla Public Schools Art Regier Volunteer of Year recipient for coordinating the event.

Besides Andrew, individual winners were: Anna Moore, second, Berney; Miya Freeman, third, Edison.

Other top-scoring schools were: Berney, second, and Assumption School, third.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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