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Cara McArthur, a spunky Onalaska 6-year-old, who’s spent a lot of life in the hospital, is ready for Saturday’s Big Bikes for Little Tikes



Cara McArthur, an Onalaska 6-year-old who has spent most of her life in the hospital battling tumors.

You see those videos sometimes of the kid who wants to say hi to everyone.

In the grocery store cart, they’re waving and greeting every shopper. On the sidewalk, sparking up a quick conversation with every passerby.

Cara McArthur is that kid — the Onalaska version, who will strike up a chat with anyone, including in hospital hallways, where she’s been for most of the six years of her life.

“What we did is we went for walks, which was literally all day — just so she could talk to people,” Rebecca McArthur, Cara’s mom, said. “She’s spunky, fun loving, she’s chatty, she loves talking to everybody.”

Cara uses a walking cane to help get around. She doesn’t see very well — legally blind because of tumors — but when you’re up close, she sees your face, wants to know your name and tell you a story.

But her story has been a sad one that 95.7 the Rock’s Big Bikes for Little Tikes heard about, and dedicated to help.

Without getting into all the terminology, tumors very early in life affected Cara’s vision. Those then proceeded to her brain, affecting everything else.

The little girl who wants to walk and talk to everyone couldn’t do any of that, and the worst came last summer.

“She lost the ability to talk, to walk, to eat, so it took a lot out of her with the growth of that tumor — and that’s why we ended up staying so long in the hospital,” Rebecca said.

WHEN: 9:30 a.m. Saturday check in, 11 a.m. ride
WHERE: Meet at Great River Harley Davidson in Onalaska (map)
SIGNUP at here at AroundRiverCity.com
AFTER PARTY: TimeOut Tavern in La Crescent (map)

Two and a half months in the hospital.

“She just kept declining,” mom said. “They finally had told us, ‘You have to do radiation, because she’s going down so fast and we don’t have any other options.’ So that was the hardest part, having to make that decision.”

Five years old. 25 rounds of radiation. Every day. Her whole brain was affected, mom said.

But good news Wednesday. Cara isn’t just outgoing. Mom says she’s also a fighter and it’s beginning to show.

“This is the day we’ve been waiting for for five years to where we actually see some sort of shrinkage with her tumors,” Rebecca said. “So, we are beyond happy and ecstatic that we were able to get these results today. She’s just a fighter.

“We’re nine months out from her radiation, and they were just astounded at what they saw in her images (Wednesday). So, that gives me hope that things are starting to look up and go in the right direction.”

Cara McArthur (bottom, middle) with her two brothers (left to right) Brenden (14) and Callen (12).

Big Bikes for Little Tikes is made possible by our amazing community partners: Schneider Accounting and TaxInterstate Roofing, Luke’s Repairs LLC Rollingstone, Northern EngravingSeland’s KarpetlandRudy’sAce of all TradesReedy Concrete, Bubba’s Meats, La Crosse MoversFirst American Roofing and Siding, Robin’s NestThe Grind Coffee ShopSMA Insurance Group, Inc.Rivers Edge Remodels, Thorson Graphics and Kratt Lumber.

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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