Alyra Sorenson is a quiet but determined 13 year old girl who recently showed compassion and empathy to her mother, Tammy Sorensen, while battling with cancer since February 2019. Tammy works at Jakers in Idaho Falls as a chef. She speaks very highly of her job and that she feels bad that she has been too weak at times to complete tasks. Her employer has helped Tammy in any way they can to make this time easier on her while attending to her chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Alyra has seen the effects of cancer on her mother and has been helping more and more in the home while also involved in her local 4-H in Jefferson County. Alyra has been in 4-H since she was 8 years old. 4-H is a program designed to empower youth to create positive change in their communities and it looks like Alyra is taking what she is learning to the next level.
This year Alyra raised 3 Rex Rabbits and auctioned them at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. With guidance from her grandmother, Winnie Welker, Alyra decided to donate all proceeds to The Shannon Wilker Foundation whom works closely with people suffering with cancer in southeast Idaho. Patients at Teton Cancer Institute have been receiving help from The Shannon Wilker Foundation for the last few years. As the Foundation has grown, it has been able to help more and more patients. A few examples of help include gas cards, gifts cards, hotel vouchers, recliners, washer and dryers, and much more. Ultimately, the Shannon Wilker Foundation has plans for creating a home for patients and family who live as far as Wyoming and Salmon to stay while receiving daily treatments.
The Shannon Wilker Foundation was created by her husband, Shane, to honor Shannon Wilker. She passed away from breast cancer July 20, 2011. She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, and friend to all that knew her. Her strength and compassion for others guides us every day. As fate would have it, Alyra’s mom Tammy was one of the patients that was able to be part of the Shannon Wilker Foundation Night Out event this year.
Alyra’s family showed Shane the video of her 4-H auction and presented Shane with a check today. The rabbits were auctioned off for $550 but the story doesn’t end there. Teary eyed attendees from the Jefferson County 4-H community rallied together and donated additional money for a total of $3059.
Now, Shane has been known to shed a tear or two but when he saw the video and learned about the effort that this 13 year old young woman had put into these animals and this event, he shed more than a few tears and was speechless. If any of you know Shane…this is a rare and special occasion. We are truly blessed to live in such a wonderful caring and generous community, and I know this money will go a long way to meeting the needs of cancer patients here locally.
A special thanks to Alyra and her family!
If anyone knows of someone suffering with cancer who is in need please contact Shane. He is the real deal and every penny goes to the patients here locally.