On May 5th, 2012, From the Heart honored 2 families.


Kyle DeKam, married to Jodie DeKam, 4th grade teacher at Washington School, and is the father to three sons, Noah 10th grade, Ethan, 7th grade, and Carson 4th grader. Kyle was diagnosed in September of 2010 with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Following his diagnosis, Kyle has undergone several types of treatment targeted at curing the disease. Unfortunately, all have come with mixed results. Last August he underwent a stem cell transplant, which was unsuccessful in keeping the cancer away.  Kyle is currently a part of a new chemotherapy treatment plan, where he currently is getting positive results.

Kyle has worked for the past 22 years as a teacher and principal in the Owatonna Public Schools. Due to his ongoing illness, Kyle has been unable to work the 2011-2012 school year in his current position as principal of the Owatonna Junior High School.

The DeKam family feels so blessed for the incredible support the entire Owatonna Community has shown them over the many months they have been battling this illness. They have committed themselves as a family to continue serving in any capacity possible to help show ongoing community support and involvement. Kyle shared that he is able to keep moving forward positively each day with continued strength and hope due to his amazing family!


Samantha Nechanicky’s journey with Pre B cell acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia will be a long one but her family is thankful that, as of now,the Chemotherapy treatments seem to be working in her little body. Over the next 2-3 years, she will be expected to be treated in Rochester in hopes of ridding her body of cancer.

On Friday, September 9, William and Niki Nachanicky found out that their beautiful 3 year old girl was fighting cancer. She has been complaining for a couple of months that her legs were hurting but on the Saturday night before her diagnosis she was screaming from pain and had gotten very sick as she was being tucked into bed. After a visit to the ER in Owatonna, Samantha was taken by ambulance to Rochester. In Rochester, the doctors noticed that Samantha’s spleen was enlarged, the lymph modes in her neck and groin area were enlarged and her red blood count was continuing to fall. After a bone marrow test, Samantha was diagnosed with leukemia.

Samantha immediately started chemotherapy treatments which will continue for several years. She is fighting this disease with the strong support of her family, friends and community.

Samantha is the daughter of William and Niki Nechanicky and is sibling to Josh (age 10) and Zach (age 8). William (Billy) is a 1992 graduate of Owatonna High School followed by Niki in 1993, Josh and Zach attend Wilson Elementary School.

Video Produced by Limberg Productions

Contact Information:

From The Heart PO Box 853 Owatonna, MN 55060