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Thayer family overwhelmed by local support

In these divisive hours of tumult and overheated rhetoric, it is a most heart-warming development to see how the community has banded together to support the Thayer family of Long Beach in its time of distress.

Even the famous rock musician Gene Simmons of KISS has been an active contributor to the cause.

Lance and Jennifer Thayer five years ago endured a parents' ultimate nightmare, as they lost their lovely 4-year-old daughter, Breanna, to brain cancer.

And for the past 16 months, their 14-year-old son, Jalen, has been battling the same condition as he's undergone treatments at St. Jude Children Research Hospital in Memphis, Children's Hospital in Los Angeles and Miller Children's Hospital in Long Beach.

The Polly's Pies chain held Friends of Jalen fundraisers last week at their Long Beach and Los Alamitos locations and, according to retired Long Beach Unified School System teacher Synthia Kaitanjian, they turned out to be quite successful.

"Both places were jammed - there was an hour and a half wait in one of them - and even ran short of some culinary items," relates Kaitanjian, who helped coordinate the events. "It was a tremendous turnout."

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