Jen Weaver went to her roller derby team meeting and saw a fundraiser on the agenda she knew nothing about.
It turned out that her teammates on the Black Rose Rollers, Hanover's roller derby team, had surprised her by planning a community benefit night for her 3-year-old son, Jhonen Sullivan, who was diagnosed with leukemia in September.
We Fight For Jhonen is from 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday. A Taste of Bourbon, 1080 Carlisle St. in Hanover, will provide a buffet for $9.95 per person, and $4 from each buffet purchase will go directly to Jhonen's medical and travel expenses.
Children age 8 to 12 will eat for half price and children under 7 eat free.
When Weaver was told about the fundraiser, which is being held on Jhonen's fourth birthday, she held back tears.
But on the night her team honored Jhonen at one of their bouts, she couldn't help but cry.
"They announced at the beginning that they were collecting donations for him, and at halftime they made a presentation where they gave him a skateboard," said Weaver.
The custom-made skateboard is printed with a dragon and doesn't have wheels, but roller derby coach Russ Wetzel, who designed the skateboard for Jhonen, promised to add those once he is older.
For now, the skateboard hangs on Jhonen's bedroom wall.
Weaver has taken a leave of absence from the Black Rose Rollers as she is busy taking Jhonen to Penn State Hershey Medical Center for weekly chemotherapy treatments.
Jhonen was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in September. Weaver took him to the doctor's office because he had an ulcer and was not eating very much. When the blood test results came back he was taken to the emergency room at Hanover Hospital for more tests, which revealed leukemia.
He will have a total of three years of treatment, said Weaver.
"At first he didn't open up to anybody, but now that we've been going to Hershey every week he has opened up to a lot of doctors and nurses," Weaver said. "He has quite a few that are his favorites and gives them hugs.
"He's very outgoing. He loves to talk to people and he picks up on things very quickly," said Weaver.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Jhonen's wish to go to Disney World, where he will spend a week with his mom and dad, Cory Sullivan, and brothers, Zach, 10, and Trenton, 2.
Jhonen is eager to meet the characters from Toy Story and Monsters Inc., his mom said.
"This will be all of our first time at Disney World so it's going to be exciting," Weaver said.
Anyone who is unable to attend We Fight For Jhonen on Tuesday but would still like to donate can do so at any Members 1st Bank.
- Reach Chelsea Shank at 505-5432 or email@example.com