|By Jared Wilson, Odessa American, Texas|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
In order to help the Vanderlaans pay for a surgical procedure, friends and family have devised a benefit for Jon called "Stand with Vanderlaan."
Cerebral Palsy is defined by the
"She's been incredibly supportive,"
"Before we went up there to visit with the doctor, my wife and I prayed about it and we had our families pray about it, so when he told me that I was a candidate for the surgery, I was a little bit in shock,"
"When he said that he would recommend the surgery for Jon, all the worries and questions kind of went away," Lauren said. "It was kind of a relief knowing that something that could really help him was something that was right for him."
The surgery Vanderlaan is looking into is known as select dorsal rhizotomy and has been successfully performed on more than 2,000 patients, according to the hospital website, but will require many weeks of physical therapy post procedure. For the Vanderlaans, physical therapy is what will be the most financially taxing process as his insurance will cover only a certain number of days.
In order to help assist the family, attorney
"Well, I didn't get the full story until recently and we decided that it would be the perfect opportunity to host a benefit for Jon," Low said about getting the benefit started. "It was exciting to hear that he was going to have a possibly life-changing surgery and we were excited to get involved. We will be behind him any way we can."
The benefit, to be held Saturday at
"The response has been overwhelming,"
"It was really hard for me to describe how it makes me feel that people are willing to help him like that,"
Jon says he is looking forward to many activities once the surgery and physical therapy are completed, including walking, running and geo-cashing, but most of all, he is excited about the pain he has experienced being an afterthought.
To donate to the cause or get involved with the benefit, call
"To have donation before there is already a benefit, I don't even know how to feel about it because I just can't believe that some of these people who know me and some who don't know me hardly at all, to think that they would be so generous is so humbling and it really touches me that they are there to help me realize this goal,"
"It will be here in like six weeks and then the new adventure begins,"
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