MOUNT VERNON — Giving comes from the heart. That spirit of giving was received in a big way Wednesday morning when 13-year-old Ally Grubaugh was treated to a number of heart-warming surprises she’ll never forget.
Diagnosed with Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma in August 2010, Ally has endured a very trying nine months, spending time in and out of the hospital and undergoing numerous cancer treatments, without a lot of success. Going through chemotherapy treatments, surgeries and trying a variety of medications have proven to be extremely difficult for Ally and her family.
Then one day, Delores Peterson, a customer service employee at Walmart in Mount Vernon, heard about the Walmart Heart Program which drives home the message of caring. She learned about the Walmart-sponsored events where company truck drivers volunteer their time in creating a day in helping people with chronic medical conditions. She then contacted Paul King of the Grove City general distribution center about hosting an event for Ally, and the wheels were then set in motion.
“She got the ball rolling,” said King about Peterson who was more than happy to organize this Walmart Heart Program event. Ally was informed there was going to be a ceremony in her honor with some speeches, gifts and the like. But there were a few surprises left for her to discover.
As Ally was receiving a ride in the big Walmart Heart Program truck from Apple Valley, escorted by a Knox County Sheriff’s deputy, the Mount Vernon Police Department and the new fire and rescue truck from the Eastern Knox County Joint Fire District — which picked her up from her home in Apple Valley to meet the Walmart truck — a large crowd was forming at Walmart awaiting her arrival. The growing crowd included her entire seventh-grade class from Danville Middle School, with many of them wearing T-shirts which read “Rally-4-Ally.”
“She’s a trooper. She’s handled this a lot better than I have,” said Ally’s father, Steven Grubaugh, while waiting for his daughter’s arrival outside Walmart. “She’s hanging in there