Jones Family

Jones Family
November 2009

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Brayden & Relay for Life

We'll post more pictures and details later. Such an emotional night for us. Brayden absolutely loved it and didn't want to go home or stop walking until all the luminaries were lit at dark. Even then, he wanted to keep walking and was so exhausted by the time we left at 11. Thank you to all the volunteers and workers who stayed the 12 hours thru the night til 7 am the next morning to help raise funds for the American Cancer Society.

Brayden saw this the next morning on the front page of the Benton County Daily Record and ran squealing to show me!

Relay for Life - Benton Co Daily Record Front Page

My baby's on the radio!!

The Jones Fam were total hamms this morning. Since we posted on here about Brayden being chosen Champion Child for the Will Golf 4 Kids fundraiser for Arkansas Children's Hospital, things have really pushed into high gear lately. Brayden absolutely loved meeting Jennifer Irwin and she was so sweet and gracious to us.

After doing the radio interview with her & Mike from the committee, Brayden has been anxiously awaiting the air date that happened this morning. We set our alarms & woke up early and tried to figure out how to record it to share here for everyone. Like his momma, he's too critical of himself! We were both squirming in our seats and there were a few hitting our head moments of embarassment, but he did SO GREAT! That was all done in 1 take, y'all!! No editing! So proud of Brayden. We didn't rehearse or practice - everything was from his heart since we had no idea what to expect. More than anything, we hope this helps bring awareness. Even if you can't golf or go to the Gala, you can still support ACH and all its efforts at

AWESOME JOB, BRAYDEN!!! I recorded it and tried to post it here, but it appears the file is too big. We'll keep trying. Now...on to Father's Day celebrations!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Brayden's Relay for Life & Survivor Dinner

Friday was our first time to participate in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life events for Rogers/Bentonville. We have signed up Brayden as a survivor and he will do a special walk this Friday at Pinnacle. Bryan is walking on a team for his work in honor and support of Brayden. If you'd like to support his walk and donate to the American Cancer Society, you can click on his page here.

Friday's dinner kicked off with such a neat God hug to us. If the timing hadn't worked just right, we'd missed it. As we were walking in, a sweet teacher who used to teach at Brayden's school was walking over to her window to close it and just happened to see Brayden! She ran out to greet us and it was SO wonderful to see her! We'd missed her this past year and it was so awesome getting to catch up with her and her to see how great Brayden's been doing. She prayed with us and was just such an encouragement to us.

On to the dinner, we felt so uncomfortable and uncertain. They did a lovely job with some sweet volunteers. Finally we saw some familiar faces of another Mom who'd reached out to us in the early days of diagnosis with her 11-yr-old son who'd battled the same diagnosis with relapse & transplant procedures & 6+ yrs of treatment since he was 3. We were SO grateful they were there and sat with us. The boys were adorable as they were digging through their special goody bag you could tell had been hand-packed for the 3 young men who were survivors attending that night. There was another young man of the same age who was a special speaker for that night telling of his Lymphoma diagnosis and his 3-month treatment. After he was finished, the boys ran to the back to meet him in person and share stories. Once this young man heard of Brayden's treatment plan and our sweet friend who was there too going through his own long journey since age 3, he was visibly surprised with imagining the duration of the treatment. I loved getting to see the 3 of them together and this is what I had hoped - that Brayden would be reminded he isn't in this alone and there are others going through the same struggles and others who have come through to the other side!!

A special moment in the night was when Brayden received his Survivor pin, celebrating 2 more birthday's since diagnosis. Brayden also gave me a special Caregiver pin. It was a neat moment and one that seemed so surreal. Brayden was the newest diagnosed male patient in attendance that night.

This Friday we will participate in the Relay for Life walk. Please feel free to come out and join us. Brayden will walk in the Survivor Lap at 7pm, then there will be a Caregiver walk, then we walk for a cure in thanks to the donations that have come in. We're hoping it's not too hot and we have good weather!! It's a great way to honor those who have endured their battle against cancer, honor those who have lost their fight, and work to ensure all those diagnosed have the opportunity to celebrate more birthdays!

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Power Team!

Brayden's 5th grade teacher surprised him with a big event at school!! She clued me & Dad in on the big surprise and even up to the day of the event, he had no idea what was in store for him. His adorable classmates wore their "Team Brayden" shirts they had originated a couple years ago. Once they arrived in the gym for the special presentation, Brayden was honored & called out for his courageous battle since diagnosis with special Power Team senior member, John Kopta. Brayden was made an honorary Power Team Member!! He was blown away and so proud!

The things they did literally left the kids in awe. John has been with the Power Team over 20 years and is still amazing audiences with his incredible strength and faith in God. John & Big Country started in with some amazing accomplishments: blowing up a hot water bottle until it pops, lifting two girls on a bar and swinging them around in circles… then he bends the bar with it in his teeth! Then John tears a Tulsa phone book in half. Big Country breaks a Louisville slugger bat in half! They were so gracious to autograph it and give it to Brayden! Big Country also popped open a soda can with his hands only…all over the kids!

We're so thankful for their witness & testimony as well as their encouragement of Brayden's fight with Leukemia. What an honor for him and such an awesome experience!! A very heartfelt thank you to John & Big Country & the Power Team for your awesome gift and service and for blessing Brayden with such a memorable experience!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Radio Rockstar Brayden

We posted on here and learned a couple of months ago that Brayden had been chosen to be the Champion Child for the Will Golf 4 Kids annual fundraiser for Arkansas Children's Hospital. One of the things he got to do was visit a local radio show and be interviewed by Jennifer Irwin! He was SO excited! Walking into the control room he immediately took the seat next to Jennifer and was eating up the opportunity! Jennifer was lovely and so wonderful to us. Mike Sewell, the chair for the Will Golf 4 Kids golf tournament joined us as well to help raise awareness about the charity and its events.

We were SO glad to hear the interview Jennifer conducted with us wouldn't be live. The edited version (whew!) will air Sunday morning, June 19th at 7am on Clear Channel stations. Or, you can listen live on 107.9 link here! Just click "Listen Live" box.

Great job, Brayden!! You really were a Radio Rockstar!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Relay for Life for Brayden

Wow - we really miss all of you! Brayden and I have talked frequently over the last several weeks about the blog. Things have taken priority that I would prefer didn't, but such it goes sometimes. Brayden is doing really well. He's growing so fast that I've been really nervous (quietly so) as to not alarm him. His counts haven't been able to be in the 'safe' range really since Christmas. It's been scary week to week. I try not to let the fear take over but I'm still human and it's a hard battle to fight with myself each week. Being a mom still takes over our hearts and heads as we want to protect our babies - or young men!

Brayden's now 5'4" and has grown 4" taller since January's check-up. Every 6 weeks is the most frequently his chemo dosages can be increased. So it's been an increase, a waiting game, watching counts & blood results each Monday, then seeing what happens for next week. Each Monday it's the same cycle. I watch him super closely to try to read what's happening under the surface. It's impossible to predict as I've continued to learn the last 5 months. Each 6 week cycle after 1 chemo med is increased & his counts don't fall within range, then next chemo med is increased as an alternate, then it's the wait and see game again. All the while, I wonder what is happening on the inside. Will his liver function uphold the increased strain of the new dosage? Are his higher counts because he's (heaven forbid) relapsing? Your mind goes crazy. It's hard to imagine but you begin to prefer the days of isolation because at least then, you knew the chemo was working. I know I'm losing it when I have those thoughts. It's an insane cycle no one should have to endure or face.

All in all, he had a great visit at Children's last week. He had a spinal sedation with intrathecal chemo to treat those cells present in his brain. With all the increases to keep up with this big growth he's been having, he's up to 47 pills a day for this past week. Insanity for sure. He's pushing through it all like a trooper. The days following the spinal are never easy for him. But he persevered. His nurse has been so supportive in encouraging me he's fine and he's just a growing boy! We're hopeful things will settle back in to a normal pattern again and his counts will resume.

School has ended and he's excited about summer. 5th grade was such a blessing for him since it's the first time since 2nd grade he's been able to start and end the school year in completion with his class without treatment or isolation or diagnosis interfering. I can't believe summer is approaching...or should I say here! We've got a lot of fun and exciting things to share over the coming days that are in the works.

One of the things I wanted to share is that I signed Brayden up as a surivor for Relay for Life this year through the American Cancer Society. There's a special walk next week. We've not participated before and aren't sure what to expect. We heard another 11-year-old boy will be speaking and I hoped it would encourage Brayden to see that he's not alone. He's come so far in the past 26 months and I hope the walk will help him to feel that support and encouragement. Seeing visually that he's not alone in his battle I think will also be good for him. Feel free to check out his page at:

Brayden's Relay for Life Page

Stay tuned! I promise to post more and can't wait to share about his recent antics on the radio!!!