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Benefit slated for 5-year-old

Monday, February 18, 2008

A benefit will take place Wednesday for a local boy struggling with cancer.

Colton Jones, 5, is like any other child his age. His mother, Andrea Jones, said he is a typical boy that loves to do all the things other children do.

"He loves to play outside on his swing set," she said. "He enjoys playing with his two brothers and the family dogs, two Labrador Retrievers. He loves preschool, seeing his friends and playing with cars, trains and blocks. He is a normal 5-year-old."

Andrea said the only difference with him and most children is he is not afraid of doctors and hospitals.

When Jones was 2-and-a-half, Andrea said she was giving Colton a bath and noticed his belly had swelling. She said he always had a belly and described it as plump, but this time it was different. Andrea said his belly was swollen on the right side, and was noticeable. Being a nurse, she felt his right side and could feel the liver, which should not have been felt. Andrea said she felt alarmed and took him to the family physician. The blood work was off and his CT scan revealed the tumor. Colton was diagnosed with Hepatoblastoma, a rare cancer of the liver. The family was sent to Riley's Children Hospital. Colton's mother said it started as a tumor on his liver. In October 2005, he had to have a liver resection, on the right side, to remove the tumor. The procedure lasted six hours.

The National Cancer Institute website defines Hepatoblastoma as a cancer formed in the tissues of the liver. The cancer is rare and usually affects children 3-and-under. According to the NCI symptoms occur after a tumor has grown large and can be a lump in the abdomen, swelling or pain in the abdomen, weight loss for no known reason, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. One of the most common treatments is resection, which is surgery to remove the cancer from the liver or outside the liver. After surgery, patients must have periodical chemotherapy and medicine. The NCI reports in some cases the surgery causes cancer to spread to other areas of the body.

In March 2006, Colton's family again had to face another surgery. Andrea said the cancer cells from Colton's liver had traveled to one of his lungs. His liver resection caused the cells to be released in his body. She said he had to have the right side, middle and lower part of his right lung, removed. Andrea said he had to go through chemotherapy treatments. As a result of the treatments Colton lost his hair. Andrea said with all he has been through he is so positive, loving and full of life.

Colton has to go to Riley's Children Hospital for a week of chemotherapy periodically because his tumor cell count is high. He will have to get the treatments until the count goes down. He does not have to take medications. Colton's mother and father take turns staying with him at Riley. He still has a risk of cancer due to the high cell count. Colton is not in remission.

Jones and his family will be present at Wendy's for the benefit, but his mother said the family might not be able to stay for the whole event because of the risks from chemotherapy. She said they have to worry about possible infections.

She said Wendy's got a hold of Jones' preschool, Open Hands at First United Methodist Church, and informed them of the benefit, and added Wendy's has contributed to the school in the past, but this time the school asked to give the proceeds the her family.

Wendy's, 717 E. National Ave., Brazil, will host the benefit for Colton from 4:30-

7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008. Donation cans are distributed around town

for additional donations.

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