Austintown Fitch band sends former member off in style

Austintown cancer girl

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A surprise Sunday for an Austintown Teen battling brain cancer – the Fitch marching band decided to send her off in style on the trip of her dreams.

Kayla Newberry, 19, is travelling to Disney World.

That’s after she was diagnosed with Stage Four brain cancer.

A much-loved member of the school music program, the members of the Fitch marching band came together to support one of their own.

“We just found out about this three or four days ago, the students and I, some of the parents, we decided it would be a nice thing to give her a Fitch band send-off,” said Wes O’Connor, Austintown Fitch band director.

The Wishes Come True foundation of Canton is paying for Kayla’s trip.

The organization grants wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses.

“She said to Mr. O’Connor she went back to Disney because that’s where she played with the band. She’s really a sweetheart, we had so much fun when she was around,” said Sydney McGrath, Austintown Fitch drum major.

The band marched up to Newberry’s home as a farewell surprise.

One of her fellow band members brought her baritone – and Kayla joined in.
Her favorite song in high school was “Jump On It.”

“During my high school football games, I’ve always had so much fun playing it. I think that song really brought the inner me out. People always react to it, and I love it,” said Kayla Newberry, of Austintown.

Newberry stayed involved with the band after earning her diploma.

“After graduation, she volunteered at our spaghetti dinner, she volunteered at our concerts, came to our football games, worked at our concession stands. She still was an active part of what we did behind the scenes,” said O’Connor.

Newberry said the gesture – was overwhelming.

“It really meant a lot. I wasn’t expecting it at all,” said Newberry.

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