Donna Lenz Wright/The Week
(Published May 15, 2007, 3:20 p.m.)
Jacob Elkin likes trains, playing outside and everything to do with Cars, the movie. His irresistible brown eyes look back from his kindergarten photo taken just months ago.
But these days, thoughts of recess, friends and milk break have been replaced with chemotherapy and the fight for his very life.
In January, Elkin, 6, of Genoa City, was diagnosed with bone cancer that had progressed to its fourth stage.
Friends of the family have organized a benefit concert with two local bands Sunday, May 20 at Calvary Community Church in Williams Bay.
Up until the Friday of Superbowl weekend, the Elkin family-Harry, Florita, Jacob, Ethan, 3, and baby-on-the-way-were living a regular life.
That night, however, Jacob told his parents his leg wasn't feeling right. By Sunday night, he couldn't walk.
"We took him to the doctor and the next thing we knew, we were in stage four," said Harry. "We found out the worst."
Jacob hasn't been back to school since, and has just finished the fourth of six rounds of chemotherapy.
"He's kind of down," Harry said, the pain and helplessness evident in his voice. "He's just been isolated so long.
"He's walking and sort of running now, but he gets tired very fast. We used to have to drag him in from outside; now he comes in on his own."
Doctors planned a stem cell treatment after the third round of chemotherapy, but not enough of the cancer had been killed to perform the procedure.
That procedure is now planned for May 22, the day that was supposed to be Jacob's graduation from kindergarten ceremony and the day that little sister-tentatively named Shayna Hope-is due to join the family.
After completing the two treatments, doctors have radiation treatments planned.
Jacob has been given a 30 percent chance of recovery.
"I figure we have a 50 percent chance," Harry said of the figure. "Either God will cure him or he won't."
The treatments are extremely expensive and the Elkins have tallied up an extraordinary tab of medical fees. In conjunction with missed days of work, the load is getting bigger by the day.
For this reason, musician Jon Troust decided to donate his time and talent to organize a community night and give it a dual purpose as a fundraising event to help the Elkin family.
The Jon Troust Band, and another local band, Stükenberg, will entertain people as they gather, dine and donate to a neighbor. Both bands are of the original folk/rock genre.
"Through our prayers and this concert we hope to help the Elkin family during this time," Troust said.
There is no charge to attend the event and the bands have agreed to give 50 percent of all proceeds from the sale of their CDs to the Elkin family. Open collections will also be accepted throughout the night.
Food and drink will be served free or for a donation, but families are welcome to bring their own food and have a picnic. The event will take place outside, and if it rains will be moved inside of the church.
"We hope to bring the community and families together and have an enjoyable night of music," Troust said. "But more importantly, we want to help out one of our own in the community."
"We could use prayers," Harry said.
A trust has been established for the Elkin family at the Walworth State Bank, 1221 S. Shore Drive, Delavan. For more information contact Jon at (262) 903-0020 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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