Johnathan's Day celebrates life of 4-year-old cancer patient

By Staff
CLOSE FAMILY This photo of the Mars family was taken last year around Johnathan's fourth birthday. Johnathan, center, is pictured with his parents, Andy and Robin, and older brother, Josh. Submitted photo
By Penny Randall / staff writer
March 17, 2002
Johnathan's Day will be filled with laughter, fun and prayer celebrating the life of 4-year-old cancer patient Johnathan Andrew Mars.
Johnathan was diagnosed with a tumorous form of cancer called rabdomysarcoma on his first birthday. After a year of chemotherapy, radiation and several surgeries, he was in remission for two years. Johnathan's cancer has returned and he is again fighting for his life.
Johnathan's Day, organized by his aunt, Angie Denney, is set for Saturday at the Lauderdale County Agri-Center.
The day will be packed full of fun, including a food cook off, games for children, arts and crafts and face painting.
Entertainment will include live music by Kabana and Rubber Soul. Students from the Carol Merrill Academy of Dance and Black Eagle Karate will also perform. And the Easter Bunny will be on hand for pictures.
A co-ed softball tournament will take place the same day at the softball field at First Assembly of God. The entry fee is $125 per team and teams can register that day.
All proceeds from Saturday's events will benefit the Johnathan Andrew Mars Cancer Fund and his Relay for Life team. Volunteers are still needed for both events.
A Candlelight Prayer Vigil will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Agri-Center and the softball field.
Johnathan's parents, Andy and Robin, try to keep things around him as normal as possible. If you see him out at the mall, he looks like any other kid you wouldn't know he is very sick inside.
Johnathan is currently in a Jackson hospital undergoing a new type of chemotherapy. Denney says it's important that he be surrounded by his family and friends.
FAMILY FUN DAY
When: Saturday
Where: Lauderdale County
Agri-Center
Times: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Events: Pictures with Easter Bunny, games for children, live music and lots of food.
Blood Drive: Noon-4 p.m.
Information: Call Angie Denney at 693-6003 or Jennifer Wilson at 482-0606.

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