Family in crisis needs community's help

Cancer takes its toll on the Kidwell family
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What: Fund to help with medical expenses for Susan Kidwell, now under hospice care

Donations and information:; checks made payable to First United Methodist Church, “Kidwell Family Fund” in the memo, can be dropped off at the Del Oro High School office

Susan Kidwell’s greatest desire has always been to take care of her family and now both she and her family need the community’s help.

The Loomis woman has been battling melanoma for almost four years and recently began  hospice care after the aggressive cancer spread to her brain.

Even with insurance, the illness and treatment expenses have taken a financial toll on the family, according to friend Cindy Soldano.

Soldano said Susan Kidwell’s husband, Alan Kidwell Sr., is trying to take as much time as he can off work to spend with his wife and their children – Carly, a Del Oro High School junior, and Alan Jr., a Del Oro 2012 grad who is attending California State University, San Diego.

During this difficult time, family and friends have done what they can to lighten the Kidwells’ burden.

Friends descended on the home last week to decorate it for Christmas and a group came and serenaded the family with Christmas carols. Friends and members of the First United Methodist Church of Loomis are delivering meals to the Kidwells.

Cindy and Dan Soldano, whose boys went to school and played sports with Alan Jr., are trying to do what they can to help.

Danny Sodano made the Kidwell’s an electronic shadow box that features a running slide show of family photos. Cindy Soldano made and sold Del Oro sports water bottles with proceeds going to the family.

“They (the Kidwells) impacted my heart. They are a great community family,” she said.

Cindy Soldano has set up a website on where donations to help the family can be made.

“We are clearly a community that cares. Look at our town slogan – ‘A small town is like a big family.’ Seeing the community come to the Kidwells’ aid has been a beautiful thing,” she said.

Soldano said the Del Oro leadership class is having a talent show at 6 p.m., Monday, Dec. 17 in the school’s performing arts center with ticket sales benefiting the Kidwells. Tickets are $5 for adults, free for Del Oro ASB card-holders, and $3 for students and children under 12.

Courtney Cline, a Del Oro junior, is helping organize the talent show.

She said, “Christmas is a really good time to give back to those in need and this is a good cause.”

Alan Kidwell is extremely thankful to the community for the help and support his family has received.

“The people in this town – all the donations we’re getting – are amazing. The help is much needed and appreciated,” he said.