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Benefit for Ironton cancer patient set for Sunday

Thirteen-year-old Shane Jones is a straight-A student at Ironton Junior High.

This year, his parents are hoping to get him a personal tutor. He can't attend school because he is undergoing cancer treatments in Columbus.

"He's a great kid," said Patty Jones, Shane's mother. "He gives 100 percent at everything he does."

Shane was diagnosed with leukemia when he was four years old. Currently, he is in Children's Hospital in Columbus after having 12 days of chemotherapy. Soon, Shane's physicians will decide whether or not to proceed with Shane's second bone marrow transplant or do more chemotherapy.

He received his first transplant in 1999.

Family friend Bill Bruce and others have put together "Shane Jones Fun Day" for this Sunday at Sta-Tan Pool. The event, lasting from 6-10 p.m., will have a bake sale, crafts, raffles and other things that will raise money to help Shane and his family with expenses.

Karaoke will begin at 6 p.m. and Lee McCormack and the Open Road Band will perform one hour later.

All money raised will go to the Jones family, Bruce said.

"He's a special little kid who's just went through too much," he said. "I have kids, and my dad died of cancer."

"It's been a rollercoaster ride," Mrs. Jones said. "Some days are good and some days are bad."

Shane's 11-year-old sister, Sara, has been staying with her grandparents while her parents have been staying in Columbus with Shane, she added.

"She gets frustrated sometimes, but she's tried hard to be patient," Mrs. Jones said, adding that last summer Sara came with her grandparents every other day to visit Shane.

Also, Shane's father Shawn has taken an unpaid leave of absence from work to be with his son, Mrs. Jones said. The Jones family also tries to keep up their house in Ironton while taking several trips to Columbus.

Jerry Watson, principal at Ironton Junior High, said Shane is an inspiration to other students.

"He's the type of kid that others respect," he said. "He's faced a lot of difficulties, but he comes out with a positive attitude and looks forward to doing a lot."

Some of Shane's classmates are even trying to raise money to help his family, Watson added.

"He's a fine young man, and we really miss him," he added. "We hope he gets back to school soon."

Bill Bruce and Mrs. Jones both said they were amazed by the outpour of community support.

"I've already started going around collecting donations," Bruce said. "I just can't believe what people have given."

Mrs. Jones set up a Web site three weeks ago and it has already received more than 4,000 hits, she said. The Web Site contains some of Mrs. Jones's journal writings.

"No one knows how happy it makes us just to see him laugh," she writes. "Shane has an addictive giggle anyway. Laughter is the best medicine of all." Amelia Pridemore/The Ironton Tribune