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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of May 7 - 13, 2003


Young girl is stricken with rare from of cancer

Express Staff Writer

They grew up in the shadow of Mount Everest in Katmandu, Nepal. Generations of the family have climbed the peak, while carrying the packs of tourists.

Last year, the Ang Norbu Sherpa family moved to the Wood River Valley to put their four daughters in school. They have ties to this area due to the many residents who’ve trekked through the Himalayas with Norbu’s company, Chomolungma Treking and Expedition.

Nima Sherpa Photo by Jim Dowen

Nima, 13, is the youngest in the family, and a seventh-grader at the Wood River Middle School. Her sister Diki is a junior at the Wood River High School and sister Tshering, who attended The Community School, now goes to Albertson College. The eldest, Sonum, is at Palomar Junior College.

But while the family has adjusted in numerous ways to the expected culture shock, the shock of Nima’s being diagnosed with pediatric colon cancer has hit it hard. Discovered only two weeks ago, she had immediate exploratory surgery performed at St. Luke’s Hospital in Boise.

The risk of colon cancer rises substantially at age 50, but every year there are numerous cases in younger people. However, so rare is an occurrence in a child of 13, that an Internet search reveals not one site that deals specifically with the subject.

Nima and her mother Lhahakpa are currently living in the Ronald McDonald House across the street from St. Luke’s children’s hospital in Boise.

Nima is undergoing radiation and chemotherapy every day for five weeks. She has lost almost 20 pounds, and will undergo further surgery to remove the tumor later in the summer.

Despite the fact that she is covered for accidents under the Wood River Middle School’s insurance, as are many other children, the family has no health insurance.

To help defray the extensive medical costs donations are being accepted at Nima Sherpa Benefit Fund, Box 415, Ketchum, 833440. An account has been set up at Wells Fargo Bank.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.