A 16-year-old Billings teen named Karianna Jinguji was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of thyroid cancer in 2015 and has been bravely battling the disease. Her treatments have included multiple surgeries and care, primarily at a Houston hospital. The cost of care, travel, and daily expenses have taken a toll on the Jinguji family.

You've probably seen her dad on TV.

Karianna's dad is David Jay, a reporter at KTVQ. David has been covering local and Montana news stories for years. I've run into him at numerous events around Billings, and he is genuinely a nice guy who seems to truly care about our community.

Credit: Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association, Inc.
Credit: Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association, Inc.

Thyroid cancer is the 2nd most common cancer in teens.

Boston Children's Hospital notes that while thyroid cancer is relatively rare in children (fewer than 1 in 100,000 each year), it is the second most common form of cancer in teens age 15 - 19. They add,

Thyroid cancer is often detected as a lump in the front of the neck found by the child, a parent, or by a physician during a routine examination. Some thyroid cancers are discovered by chance during medical imaging performed for another reason.

The GoFundme for Karianna notes that there is no cure available for the teen and despite surgery and radiation therapies, her cancer has metastasized to her lymph nodes, lungs, and between her carotid artery and jugular vein. Despite medical insurance, the family has incurred substantial expenses.

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Horseshoe making a ringer around the peg.
Credit: 1Raymond

Cornhole, Horse Shoes, Live Music, and Fun Sunday, Oct 10th.

The benefit party is Sunday, Oct. 10th at the Moose Lodge (131 Calhoun Lane, across from the Reno Club) and kicks off at 3 pm. Events include:

  • Live music by John Roberts y Pan Blanco
  • Cornhole tournament
  • Horse Shoe tournament
  • Bake auction
  • Silent auction
  • Food Trucks - Lil Red Wagon and BBQ Pit House.
  • Cold beer and drinks.

To donate auction items, contact Kathleen at 406-794-6327. If you would like to help financially, donations can be made at any Stockman Bank (attn: Karianna Kancer Benefit Fund) or at Karianna's GoFundMe.

Getting to Know Billings From A to Z

New to Billings or not, the Magic City may look like an industrial town from the freeway, but take any exit and you'll discover a city with idiosyncrasies and a whole lot of Montana personality.

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