2011-02-03 / Local & State

Sweetheart Ball Set For February 12


This year the 27th annual Sweetheart Ball scheduled for February 12, 2011, at McConnellsburg American Legion will benefit 2-year-old Sean Williams and 14-year-old P.J. Stanley, both of the Warfordsburg area.

Sean, youngest son of Bobby and Mary Lou Williams, who turned 2 in December, was diagnosed at 18 months after exhibiting symptoms of loss of appetite, stomach pain and a rash that broke out over a large part of his body. The diagnosis was that Sean has neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancer that attacks the nervous system, most often in infants and toddlers. According to the family, doctors at Hershey Medical Center have indicated there is a 65 percent cure rate for this particular type of cancer and that it is very treatable. The treatment plan is for a bone marrow transplant using Sean’s own marrow through stem cell collection; this would be ideal as there would be no waiting list and no chance of rejection. However, this type of procedure requires that his white count must hold steady and not drop too low. In October Sean had an unplanned ambulance ride to Hershey because his white count dropped, and he began feeling unwell and had a fever.

Sean’s father has been unemployed since he took a leave of absence from work to care for his son. Neither of Sean’s parents have been employed because they have had to keep bags packed and ready to make trips to Hershey in minutes for Sean. While at home, Bobby flushes his son’s semipermanent IV located in his chest, and monitors his tube feedings. Sean is able to eat and drink by mouth, but the tube feeding is necessary to keep his calorie intake up. At last report, Sean is in Hershey Medical Center beginning the chemo treatments necessary to prepare for the bone marrow transplant.

Young Craig Eugene Stanley III, known to family and friends as P.J., is the son of Crystal Stanley of Needmore and Craig Stanley Jr. of Hancock. P.J., who resides with his mother and grandparents Edna and Carl Knable near Needmore, is a student at Southern Fulton High School. P.J. was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on September 29, 2010. He has been receiving weekly treatments at Hershey Medical Center; however, he has not been able to keep up with his treatment schedule over the past few weeks because of an extremely low white blood count. Since being diagnosed, he has undergone at least five blood transfusions and has had two bags of platelets.

Both families face continued treatment with numerous trips and stays in Hershey as these boys are facing long treatment and recovery. Trust funds have been or are being set up with the local bank to benefit the boys and their families. Numerous trips to Hershey and stays during treatment either prevent working regular jobs or require time off to transport and accompany the boys during treatment.

Proceeds of the Sweetheart Ball will be split between both these families. Anyone wishing to make a donation or purchase tickets to the Beta Sigma Phi 27th annual Sweetheart Ball may contact any sorority member. For tickets, monetary donations or donation of items for the auctions, you may call 717-485-5930 or 717-294-6091. The ball will include salad bar, dinner, dancing and both live and silent auctions. D.J. Shane Imler of Northeastern Entertainment will provide music throughout the evening.

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