New fundraiser planned for Holland family

Published 9:51 am Wednesday, July 12, 2017

by Tracey Agnew
Special to The Tidewater News

A pancake benefit is planned later this month to help the family of an 11-year-old boy who is fighting brain cancer.

The benefit for Joseph “J.T.” Holland and his family of Franklin is set for 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 22, at Farmer Frank’s Farm Market, 6001 Holland Road. Tickets are $5 in advance or $6 at the door, and patrons can eat in or take out.

Jill Peacock, the owner of Farmer Frank’s Farm Market, is holding the benefit for J.T., who is her nephew.

“He’s 11 years old, and he has a brain tumor,” she said. “He’s going through that, and his parents can’t work as much, so we’re trying to raise money to help the family.”

The Riverdale Elementary School student was diagnosed on Feb. 24, said his mother, Sara Holland; Joseph Holland is the boy’s father. She arrived at school on a Friday afternoon to pick up J.T. and noticed his eyes were crossing. It continued to happen throughout the evening, so they took him to Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.

“‘We’re going to come home with a prescription for glasses’ is kind of what we thought,” Holland said. “But then they showed us the scans, and they could see a mass on his brain. We were admitted that night.”

J.T. had several surgeries before he was released from the hospital that first time. He has since completed chemotherapy and had more surgeries. He is preparing to start six weeks of radiation on Aug. 7.

Holland said J.T. has taken it all well.

“He’s just a trooper,” she said. “He very rarely complains about it. He’s the middle child, so he’s got an older sister — Katelyn — he looks up to and a younger brother — Jake — who follows him everywhere.”

Peacock said J.T. has a good prognosis. He will be at the fundraiser in person if he is able, she said.

“We want to thank everybody for coming and participating,” Holland said. “Everybody that’s been praying for us and thinking about him and sending him well wishes is appreciated. It definitely lifts his spirits.”

Peacock said all of the proceeds from the event will go straight to the Holland family.

In early May, little league teams playing a pre-planned tournament in Windsor dedicated proceeds toward the family, and approximately $5,700 plus $570 in T-shirt sales were raised. Back in March, the St. Baldrick’s Day at Fred’s Restaurant also helped the Hollands.

Call 657-9730 for more information on the fundraiser.

STEPHEN H. COWLES, staff writer at The Tidewater News, contributed to this article.