Community shows support for Ironton teen battling leukemia

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 2, 2002

The event was named for him, but he wasn't able to make it. Shane Jones was in the hospital in Columbus.

Sta-Tan Pool had a packed parking lot last night during "Shane Jones Fun Day." The event featured karaoke, food, craft sales, raffles and local country singer Lee McCormack.

All proceeds went to help the family of the 13-year-old Ironton Junior High student who may receive his second bone marrow transplant soon. Jones was diagnosed with leukemia when he was four years old.

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"I'm amazed," said Shawn Jones, Shane's father. "It's like everyone came together with love directed toward Shane and our family."

Shane's mother Patty couldn't attend because she was at Children's Hospital in Columbus with Shane. However, she has been writing in an online journal at in which she details Shane's progress and sends messages to supporters.

"She's strong, and she cares about her family," Shawn Jones said about his wife. "She misses our daughter, Sara. She hasn't seen her in weeks."

"We're strong for him," he added. "We're there when he wants to play and we're there when he wants to cry."

Lee McCormack emphasized that the evening was for Shane, not him.

"That family has more heart and love than I've ever seen," he said. "This is not Lee McCormack's deal, but Shane's deal."

Sara Jones, 11, Shane's sister, spent the evening with a cast on her arm. She broke it while visiting her brother in Columbus.

"It's sad not seeing my family," she said. "I miss my mom and dad."

Bill Bruce, a family friend, helped organize the event.

"Word spread around and people came out of the woodwork," he said. "This is awesome."

Jessica Weaver, Sara's best friend, said the Jones family is like her second family.

"I practically live with them," she said, adding that Shane loves to do "South Park" impressions and come up with off-the-wall inventions.

Brandon Bazell, one of Shane's football teammates, said he hoped Shane was back on the field soon.

Tim Johnson sold raffle tickets for a picture of OSU's football stadium, signed by players from the 1940s to the present. The winner will be announced at Ironton's last football game, Oct. 25 against Belfry, Ky.

"There are some angels in Ironton," said Laura Jones, Shane's grandmother. "It's like a family -- we pull together in hard times." Amelia Pridemore/The Ironton Tribune