Everything is "go" for Jason Overman.
The 5-year-old Orem boy had succedssful surgery on June 13 to remove two cancerous tumors; he was well enough to leave Primary Children's Medical Center for home on Thursday; and fund-raisers have collected enough money to ensure Jason gets a need bone-marrow transplant."As of Monday morning, we have $167,000," Kathy Wood said. "The minimum we needed was $150,000. We are very happy with the amount we have, but we are hoping we can get just a little more as a buffer. UCLA said the surgery could run as high as $250,000.
"But right now we are thrilled to have reached our minimum goal."
Jason suffers from neuroblastoma, a rare form of nerve cancer that leaves him only a 20 percent chance of survival. With a marrow transplant from his 16-year-old sister, Julie, his chances will increase to 50 percent.
Wood said Jason is doing well but still is being carefully monitored.
"Jason has high blood pressure, so they are treating him for that, and he starts chemotherapy more today (Monday). They are increasing the dosage, so the family is a little worried. But the doctors say Jason is resilient. Most adults who have the surgery are not released so quickly."
She said that barring complications, Jason will be admitted to the UCLA Medical Center on July 25 for the bone-marrow transplant.
Wood said she didn't know how many area residents had helped with fund raising.
"There was so much happening, we didn't have a chance to keep track. Now that we know Jason will get the surgery, we can relax just a little. We will spend the next few weeks writing thank you notes."
Wood said the Overmans' spirits are high.
"The family seems to be much more 'up' than they have been for a long time. Jason's mother has spent the last three days in tears. It's very emotional to realize he will be able to go to the hospital for the surgery. It's been a real boost."
Wood said that if any money is left after Jason's hospital bills are paid it would be donated to Primary Children's Medical Center.
"We would like a buffer. Another few thousand would not be much compared to what we have collected so far. But $167,000 is good; it's great; it's wonderful. It will definitely get him in for the surgery."
Wood said fund-raisers would appreciate more help for Jason but do not want to be seen as greedy, especially when others need help.
"There is a man in Cedar City named Nolan Anderson, and he needs a heart transplant. He can't work anymore. The people where he used to work have donated their vacation pay to help support his family."
Wood's husband, Brent, said Anderson will have a hard time raising money in Cedar City.
"The people are great, but there just aren't goo many people down there. I wish he could have Utah County on his side like Jason has."