By June Conner
For the Star-Gazette
Thirteen-year-old Hunter Spurgeon of Beardstown was a proud girl on Saturday, November 2, when seven Walmart semi trucks and trailers lined up to parade Hunter out to Walmart after going to the Beardstown Middle School and picking up friends.
Heading the caravan was a Beardstown police car and fire truck. Making the trip for Hunter special was the fact that she rode in the front truck driven by her paternal grandfather, Joe Spurgeon, a Walmart driver from Oakland City, Indiana.
Walmart Heart is a volunteer project by Walmart drivers to make someone smile who might be having a tough day. In addition to Hunter's grandpa some of the other drivers came from Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
Hunter was first diagnosed with bone cancer on January 21, 2011 and according to her mother Tammy Fishel, a full relapse was found on August 21, 2013. Tammy and Hunter are both determined to make a full recovery.
Hunter has not attended school this year, instead she has had radiation five days a week and chemotherapy one day each week. She has further treatment coming when local treatments are completed. It will be experimental treatment at Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, Ky.
Her mother will accompany her over a four-month period where she will receive three weeks of low dose chemo and a vaccine therapy created from her own blood cells. Then she will come home a week to rest after each treatment cycle. They will stay at a Ronald McDonald House in Kentucky. While Tammy has kept her job at Cargill as a second shift billing clerk, she has managed to take her daughter to all of her scheduled appointments.
In addition to her mother Tammy, and paternal grandparents Joe and Paulette, her father, Chris Spurgeon from Pittsfield, her maternal grandparents, Bob and Brenda Fishel of Beardstown, enjoyed the Walmart Heart with Hunter. Her great-grandparents are Jerry and Helen Heauner of Pittsfield and Wanda Surratt of Beardstown.
Seven Walmart semi's and trailers line up in front of the Beardstown Schools for Hunter Spergeon's day November 2nd, with Walmart Heart. Hunter's friends accompanied her to the Beardstown Wal-Mart for activities and refreshments.