SGT. BLUFF, Iowa — Last summer, we introduced you to Lolo, a young girl battling cancer and her sister Evelyn, who launched a blood drive in her honor. Now, they are going even bigger.
"It's beneficial for not only our family but many families around the Siouxland area."
All this week they are hosting a birthday blood drive with LifeServe Blood Center. 5-year-old Lolo has been battling leukemia since May of 2021 and has required several blood transfusions during her journey.
"Lolo was diagnosed last May with B-Cell AL leukemia and she is 13 months in and the way our treatment plan is set up, we have another 13 months to go," said her dad, Jeff. "While she is medically in remission, she's still got a fight. We still have treatments to do and all sorts of different steps to take but we are on a positive path."
Blood transfusions are a key part of her treatment.
"Lolo is on her 9th blood transfusion this year and it is an amazing thing to see how she responds to that and how necessary it is for her treatment," Jeff said.
Her family says this is their way of helping others who may need blood just like Lolo.
"It's also important for not just Lolo, but everybody in Siouxland because there are thousands of cancer patients in the area and tens of thousands across the country," Jeff said. "So we need to have that for all sorts of reasons. And there's a shortage right now and we want to give back to a community that's given so much back to us."
The family has hosted four blood drives with over 350 liters of blood donated so far. Evelyn also uses her platform as a 4-H'er to encourage others to donate.
"The reason it's important for me to be a 4-H'er during these blood drives is because when I do my community service projects, it helps show the people who come and look at my project how important it is to do these things for people," Evelyn said.
Lolo's halfway through her cancer journey and her family hopes they can help others in the community with these blood drives, just like Siouxland has already helped their little girl over the last 13 months.
"She's doing really well," Jeff said of Lolo's cancer journey. "She's responded as planned and checked off all of the boxes. Even if we have had some hiccups where we've needed to go in for transfusions, they've done great and it really helps her out so she can keep fighting."
If you would like to donate in Lolo's honor, you can schedule an appointment at LifeServe Blood Center in Sioux City all this week by going to their website here.
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SIOUX CITY, Iowa — In a historic release from the United States Supreme Court, the 1972 ruling legalizing abortion in the U.S. has been officially overturned, leaving the right for a person to receive an abortion up to individual states.
This ruling will have a different impact across all 50 states. 13 have already banned the practice, thanks to laws written so that they would take effect immediately upon Roe's overturning.
South Dakota is one of the 13 states with one of those "trigger laws" so abortion is now illegal in the Rushmore State. South Dakota's law not only bans abortions but also makes it a felony for medical professionals who provide abortions which is punishable by up to two years in prison. Now there is an exception to South Dakota's law from 2005 which allows abortions if there is a quote, "appropriate and reasonable medical judgment" to save the life of the mother, such as an ectopic pregnancy.
Now South Dakota's Republican Governor, Kristi Noem, launched a new website to help pregnant women and individuals find information and resources on topics such as adoption, financial assistance and new parent tips.
In Iowa, abortions are still legal until the 20th week of pregnancy, except to save the life of the parent or prevent a substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.
But, another state law passed in 2020 requires a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion procedure can be done. With this Supreme Court ruling, the GOP-controlled legislature in Iowa can call a special session to pass stronger abortion restrictions in the state.
In Nebraska, there is not currently a trigger law on the books meaning the current law in the state allows abortions until the 20th week of pregnancy.
Republican Governor Pete Ricketts has said he does plan to call a special session for the unicameral legislature to pass stronger laws on abortion now that Roe is overturned, but no date for that session has yet been set.
JD Scholten, a Democrat running for Iowa House this fall predicts this won't be the end for anti-Roe legal cases.
"I think what we're going to see is in the state legislation some more extreme laws," he told Siouxland News, "I mean we are talking about making contraceptives illegal. And that's just a dangerous path to go down, And enforcing pregnancies when we don't have the adequate care around there."
Scholten says the decision flies in the face of not only decades of legal precedence but the opinion of a solid majority of voters, even in Iowa.
"But what we saw was 60% of voters in NW Iowa consider themselves pro-life, but also 60% of NW Iowa thinks abortion should be legal in some capacity," he said. "I think that something, when we talk about where we need to go from here a lot of it, is protecting mothers, protecting women, protecting a lot of the vulnerable people and that's what I'm hoping to protect."
Scholten currently has no Republican opponent for the House District 1 election in November.
DIOCESE OF SIOUX CITY
One of the strongest opponents of Roe v. Wade over the past five decades has been churches with the Catholic Church strongly opposing abortion.
The Diocese of Sioux City and its Bishop R. Walker Nickless released a statement celebrating the decision by the Supreme Court to reverse Roe, but, like South Dakota Governor Noem, expressing a desire to care for women through and after birth.
Regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization today and a recent decision by the Iowa Supreme Court, I am pleased to see the direction of our state and federal judges moving toward protecting innocent life.
As you may know, due to this U.S. Supreme Court ruling and the subsequent opinions released, all states, including Iowa, will determine their own abortion policy.
On June 17, the Iowa Supreme Court reversed its 2018 decision that recognized a fundamental right to abortion as part of the Iowa Constitution. Also, the court sent back to a lower court the 24-hour waiting period before a woman can have an abortion.
Although the recent actions of the federal and state supreme courts are good news to all who believe in the sanctity of life, there is much more work to be done. I ask all Catholics and all people of faith to continue to pray for an end to abortion in our state and our nation.
Deliberately taking the life of an innocent person, as is always done in abortion, is gravely contrary to both the natural law and the divine law. A just civil law must protect the sanctity of human life.
Let us pray for our nation and continue to respect the right to life.
For the latest local and national news regarding Roe. V. Wade, visit this section of our website.
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The debate over fireworks in Sioux City city limits has been a hot topic at council meetings for years.
"The big problem with people setting off fireworks themselves is that you know they're required by law to set them off in the backyard. But they can't keep the noise in their backyard." The fireworks ordinance in Sioux City has been a heated debate for many residents, and the Sioux City City Council is working to find common ground.
"We're taking the enforcement of compliance very seriously." Councilman Dan Moore has been working with other city leaders and Sioux City residents on a fireworks ordinance," It took us a long, many years to get where we are today. I'm all about enforcement and just following what the law is."
With differing opinions, finding that commonality and a solution all can agree on is a big challenge. "I think what's been good is that we're getting the different perspectives out to the public, and then they can decide for themselves," said Moore, "but as we've pointed out, and we have a common theme among us, I mean, safety is primary importance."
Rande Giles is an advocate for those without a voice the pets and wildlife who find the boom of fireworks scary.
"I would say July is one of the most busiest times for the animal shelter because they're constantly picking up strays and dead animals," she said. In a perfect scenario, she'd like to see commercial Grade A fireworks banned in the city, but she knows that's not likely.
"You know, there's nothing more horrible than a family who loves their pet companion is not prepared," Giles said, "especially when they're set off on days that they're not allowed to be set off on and they lose their family member."
"The safest thing you can do for your animal is to put them in a safe room in the house not outside, turn on some loud music away from the windows and keep your pet safe." She isn't the only concerned citizen speaking up for others. Mark Solheim has become a voice for veterans impacted by PTSD.
"I became concerned when I realized what fireworks were doing to our veterans suffering with PTSD," Solheim said. "The fireworks go off and all of a sudden they are thrust back into a war zone where they saw their best friends blown up and mutilated and dying right in front of them themselves being covered with the blood of their best friends."
To learn more about veterans, PTSD and how fireworks can impact our nation's heroes, click here.
He too would like to see the booming fireworks come to an end, but has worked with the city council and Dan Moore to find a solution that hopefully, Sioux City residents can support. "They don't understand exactly what kind of harm they're doing to our veterans that have suffered so much already," he said. "Time and time again. Every time these fires go off. They're reminded of what they have lived through and what they've seen I think our veterans deserve better than that."
"In Sioux City, we know that fireworks are allowed on the third and the fourth and people with PTSD can prepare themselves for that." But finding a common ground and a designated time for fireworks that people and pets can prepare for has been key.
The city is sending out flyers, posting notices at public fireworks stands and just spreading the word about the fireworks ordinance in Sioux City.
"It says fireworks celebrate respectfully," Moore said holding one of the flyers, "and it says the sound of fireworks can trigger PTSD for veterans and cause pets to become anxious."
"So we're just going to keep working on it together and we're going to agree to disagree on some things," said Moore, "but that's been healthy for all three of us."
"The whole idea I think," said Solheim, "is to make Sioux City a nicer, safer and quieter place."
"So we want to get that word out," Moore said. "Be aware of your surroundings. Be aware of who your neighbors are, and what impact that will have if you want to celebrate the Fourth of July, the freedoms that we have. Let's remember the people that helped us get those freedoms, obtain those freedoms and maintain them."
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