AP NEWS

A difficult journey: Car show honors father, raises cancer awareness

October 8, 2017 GMT

Jason Alexander got out of the hospital just in time to attend a car show organized in his honor on Saturday.

Alexander was diagnosed with stage 4 appendix cancer in March 2016. His appendix had burst the November before, but doctors didn’t catch it. After numerous complications they discovered the cancer, which had already spread throughout his abdomen.

In an effort to remove the cancer cells, Alexander underwent surgery that removed a portion of his small intestine, a portion of his colon, his appendix, his gallbladder, part of his spleen and his omentum, said his daughter Alexis Edwards. The omentum is a layer of fatty tissue in the abdomen that covers and supports the intestine and organs.

About 25 pounds of organs and tissue were removed in the procedure. Overall, he’s lost about 90 pounds. He can no longer eat or drink; instead he receives nutrition through a feeding tube.

Alexander has always liked cars, so his oldest son, Britton Edwards, decided to organize the Jason’s Journey Show and Shine. Britton said he hoped it would bring the community together in support of Alexander and bring awareness to cancer.

“This is my way of helping out,” Britton said. “He just got out of the hospital yesterday.”

The car show drew entries from regular car-show participants and those who entered their everyday vehicles to help out. The funds raised from entries, a silent auction and a raffle will be used to help Alexander get back and forth to Omaha to see specialists.

“Insurance doesn’t cover everything they need,” Britton said. “It doesn’t cover gas or hotels.”

Prior to the diagnosis, Alexander worked in construction. His wife, Misty, is a rural route carrier for the Postal Service, but hasn’t been able to work full time because she needs to take care of her husband.

Alexander is in his third round of chemotherapy and said previous types of chemo have been ineffective. Britton said the treatments make Alexander feel sluggish and sick.

“It completely changes a person,” Britton said. “My dad is not one to just sit there. He can’t sit still — he was always outside. Now, he just sits at home.”

“The hot and cold flashes are the hardest part for him,” Alexis added.

Britton said he hopes to make the Jason’s Journey Show and Shine an annual event.

“Next year, it’ll just be for cancer awareness in general,” Britton said. “We’ll donate the funds to the Cancer Society or a charity like that.”

People who weren’t able to attend the car show but would like to help Alexander, can donate to the “Jason’s Journey” account set up at Centris Federal Credit Union.