Fundraiser helps young cancer patient

Published 8:15 am Friday, February 17, 2012

JWES ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL Lauren Turner and the JWES kindergarten staff present Jeremy and his family with a check for $5,000 to help with his medical costs. Pictured are: front row, left to right, Jeremy’s brother, Isaac Backey, Jeremy, and his sister, Mya Backey; middle row, left to right, Debby Long, Joanna Heard, Jeremy’s father and mother Cleveland and Otha Backey, Ms. Turner, Nicole Hall and JWES Principal Larry Clark; back row, left to right, BHS FFA Teacher Hugh Lanier, Davonna Cosby, Beth Whitaker, Sharon Pate, Michelle Johnston, Brittney Mathews and Betty Harrell.

Jones-Wheat Elementary School recently hosted a pork chop dinner fundraiser for first grader Jeremy Backey and his family.

Jeremy was diagnosed with cancer in pre-K and is currently undergoing treatment at Orlando’s Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital. His school family decided that they wanted to play a part in helping with his medical expenses. Because this was JWES’s first undertaking of this kind, the staff decided to prepare 500 plates in hopes of selling that amount.  Those 500 were sold within a two-day period , and more plates could have been sold after the overwhelming response to this special family.

With the help of Hugh Lanier and the Bainbridge High Future Farmers of America students, the dinner was a complete success and raised $5,000 for Jeremy. Numerous donations from the community were given.

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Joy Key Photography held a contest on Facebook on the evening of the Super Bowl that raised $450. The health occupation students at BHS, and their advisor, Pamela Bland, held a fundraiser and made a contribution of $145 to Jeremy.   Many other individuals made contributions to help defray the cost of his medical treatment.

Jeremy’s mother, Otha Backey, is a kindergarten teacher at JWES, and offered words of thanks to everyone.

“I am honored to be a part of this JWE family,” she said. “From the administration, to the faculty, staff, students and parents everyone is so generous and kind. I can’t say enough about these wonderful people.

“You know, we always hear the expression, ‘love is what it does, not what it says.’ Well, there’s no doubt in my heart that Jeremy and my entire family are loved by many, many people. I am greatly overjoyed and grateful for the love and support that has been shown to my family.

“I also want to thank the community, my church family and friends for your kindness, very generous donations and most of all your prayers. I must say that thank you is not enough for your generosity and kindness; therefore, if there is ever anything that I or my family can do to bless you, please don’t hesitate to let us know.”