June 20, 2005
The Charlottesville Newsplex introduced you to Mason Thomas, a five year old Charlottesville boy suffering from Neuroblastoma, last month. Now we share with you an update.
Mason Thomas is making strides in his fight for life. Joining him are viewers like you, which the Thomas family is grateful for. Also helping out is an award-winning author by the name of John Grisham.
"I was walking in the post office one day and I saw this cute little boy, and I read this story, and it broke my heart, like everybody else. That's when I started making some phone calls to find out more about him," said Award-winning Author John Grisham.
The little boy John Grisham's talking about is five year old Mason Thomas. Mason is one of only a few hundred children diagnosed with Neuroblastoma each year. The disease in which cancer cells form in nerve tissue gives Mason a survival rate of 25%.
"Any kid that sick, you have to be inspired. He lives down here, he's close to where we live, and he's in our neck of the woods," said Grisham.
The neighbor from our "neck of the woods" has been in and out of the hospital for bone and cat scans in addition to more chemotherapy. While working the crowd to raise money during a baseball game, his family is also praying for a speedy recovery.
"So, we felt like we knew him, and wanted to help," explained Grisham.
Recently home from the hospital, Mason was able to see just how much Grisham was able to help him during the 10th anniversary of Cove Creek Park. Grisham, who owns the park in Covesville and dreamed of being a professional baseball player when he was a kid, proclaimed it "Mason Thomas Day" for the park.
"All of the gross receipts go to Mason, whatever they are. I have no idea if it's going to be $5,000 or $20,000," added Grisham.
Donated funds will help pay for Mason's treatment at the Sloan-Kettering Institute in New York City where his survival rate will jump to 50%. The proceeds from Grisham's park are still being counted. We hope to tell as soon as the figures are available.
If you are interested helping Mason, donations can be made to:
C/O Kelley and Scott Thomas
1831 Old Lynchburg Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903