All Sports Santa wants for Christmas is a miracle.

A miracle that will cure my sister of cancer.

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My sister Judy has been fighting a courageous fight against melanoma for several years now. During that span she has endured several surgeries, including invasive surgeries on her brain.

About two months ago she went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester for a body scan that revealed a spot on her hip but indicated her brain was free of cancer. The spot on her hip was removed and we thought maybe all of this heinous disease had been eradicated.

Since that scan she began getting severe headaches. A scan about a month ago revealed five new tumors had popped up in her brain in about 30 days.

On Dec. 8, she began Whole Brain Radiation (WBR) - an intense, aggressive 10-day radiation treatment. During an approximate 15-minute dose of radiation per day the patient wears a mask, similar to what is used in fencing, so the face, eyes, throat and ears don't get burned.

Judy finished her 10 days of WBR on Dec. 19. Now the agonizing wait is on to see if the procedure is working.

In 1986, Judy was the Brainerd Warrior Female Athlete of the Year. She played several years of varsity tennis for the Warriors and started on the varsity basketball team. In her final basketball game, if I remember correctly, she scored a career-high 18 points in a double-overtime loss to Melrose in the opening round of the region tournament at Halenbeck Hall at St. Cloud State University (SCSU).

She went on to play tennis at SCSU. In her senior season in 1991, she capped her career with a trip to the NCAA tournament in California.

During her cancer journey Judy has received a ton of support as well as care from family, college friends, friends in the waste industry in which she has her own company and from a close group of Brainerd High School friends who have remained extremely tight to this day. Their names are too numerous to mention. I can't thank them enough for all of the time they've taken off from work and all the time they've been away from their families to care and support Judy.

A miracle is all I want for Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you all and to all a good night!


MIKE BIALKA is Sports Stanta. He may be reached at or 855-5861. Follow on Twitter at