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Benefit planned for child

Justin Owens, 10, wants to be a scientist when he grows up. He has three telescopes and four microscopes and loves to study the subject in school.
“You can do cool experiments,” said the F.D. Jack Kiser Intermediate fifth-grader.
According to his mother, when he goes to the beach he “examines the water, takes a slide of the water, counts the grains of sand.”
She believes part of this scientific fascination is due to the fact he’s been in and out of hospitals since the age of 6 when he was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma.
This child-specific cancer has since plagued Justin. He’s gone into remission, had it come back and been told by doctors Hospice was the only option.
His parents, John and Kristy Owens, didn’t accept this. Instead, they researched and found the Sloan Kettering Clinic in New York City, which specializes in the disease.
Since then, Justin and his mother have regularly traveled to the city where he participates in experimental treatments.
“You kind of take the cards that are dealt, and you can’t do anything about them, so you just fight the fight you can,” Kristy Owens said.
This fight is a very expensive one. Justin’s mother quit her job in order to take care of him. His father is a construction foreman.
In order to help with their most recent medical bills, Ivey Memorial Methodist Church and Long Shoals Baptist Church will cosponsor a block party fundraiser.
The event will begin at 8:30 Saturday at Ivey Memorial Methodist Church in Maiden. It will have a silent auction, children’s games, gospel and bluegrass music and lots of food for sale including biscuits, barbecue and hot dogs.
“Hopefully we’ll carry him through until we get him in remission,” said Jill McCann, Justin’s great aunt. “That’s what we’re praying for.”
The Owens family is grateful for the help.
“No matter how bad it is, how broke we get, how many egg shells we walk on every day, something always comes around,” Kristy Owens said. “We’re blessed with family and church. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to survive.”
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Want to go? The fundraiser for Justin Owens will begin at 8:30 a.m. and lasts into the evening. It will take place Saturday at Ivey Memorial Methodist Church, located at 1360 Ivey Memorial Methodist Road in Maiden.
by Sarah Grano

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