Helping Out Those With Cancer

Phillipsburg woman benefits from cancer funds, raised in part from the Phillipsburg rodeo

Phillipsburg, Kansas – July 15, 2019 –Jan Kempt and her husband Gary were planning a trip to Japan this past winter, to see their son, who lives there, but when the Phillipsburg woman found out she had cancer, they couldn’t go.

In January of this year, Kempt was diagnosed with breast cancer. The doctors caught it early; it was in stage zero.

After two lumpectomies and radiation treatment, Kempt is cancer free.

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She got some help in fighting the disease.

Hope in the Heartland, an area organization that provides financial help to those undergoing cancer treatment in north central Kansas and south central Nebraska, sent a check to Kempt.

She and her husband have insurance, but there are so many other expenses that come about: travel to and from the doctors, lodging and meals if a person has to stay overnight, things that pop up when a person is putting all their energy into fighting cancer. “I didn’t realize there would be so many doctor appointments and follow-ups,” Kempt said. “There’s not just one doctor, but many, and there are follow-ups with all of them.”

Hope in the Heartland funds are raised in several ways. One of those ways is through the Phillipsburg Rodeo Association, which hosts its annual Tough Enough to Wear Pink night, always the first night of rodeo (this year, August 1). For every fan who wears pink to the rodeo, one dollar is donated by the rodeo association to the fund. Generous sponsors match the rodeo’s donation: Prairie Horizon Agri-Energy, McClain Farms LLC, Rodgers and Associates Insurance Co., and Farmers State Bank.

This fall, she and her husband will travel to Japan to visit their son. It’s something that kept her going through long days of treatment, when she isn’t feeling well. She and Gary are a blended family, with six kids between them. They all worry about her, and her son calls and Facetimes regularly. “He tries to find the humor in everything,” she said. When the doctors ordered a second lumpectomy, he joked that the surgeon was doing surgery again to retrieve a ring he left in.

Kempt is grateful for the Hope in the Heartland funds. “I appreciate the funds and the blessings from it.” She is also grateful to live in Phillipsburg. “There are just great people here. There are a lot of blessings in this small community.”

Kansas Biggest Rodeo takes place August 1-3 in Phillipsburg at the rodeo grounds north of town on Highway 183. Performances start each night at 8 pm. Tickets range in price from $15 to $18 for adults and $11-$14 for children.

Tickets can be purchased at Heritage Insurance in Phillipsburg (685 Third Street) or over the phone with a credit card (785.543.2448), during office hours. They can also be purchased at the gate.

For more information, visit or call Heritage Insurance at 785.543.2448.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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