By Cindy Bradford
MATEWAN - With the help of some friends and classmates, Mingo Central High School sophomore Ryan Dotson is battling his second round of cancer.
At the age of 14, Ryan was injured during a sports activity that caused him to need medical treatment. After X-rays and scans were performed, it was discovered that there was something wrong with him besides his injury. The findings led to a diagnosis of Ewings Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer.
After several rounds of radiation and chemotherapy, he went into remission in February 2013. Last March, he was scheduled to have follow-up scans to ensure no cancer remained. But sadly, it was back. The scan showed new tumors on his right and left femurs.
Ryan has begun radiation treatments, with chemotherapy to follow, for the second time, traveling to Lexington, Ky., three to four times a week. Ryan’s parents, Tim and Andreana Dotson, also have other small children at home and both have full-time jobs, which makes it difficult to stay in Lexington for several days at a time. The family must travel several days a week back and forth in order to also be home with the other children and keep their jobs. It gets very costly, even with both parents working.
Two women from Gilbert chose to do a fundraiser to help the Dotson family with their finances during a time of great need. Team Ryan T-shirts were designed by Domino Printing in Gilbert to be sold for $15 each. Domino Printing chose, as their contribution, not to profit a penny from the fundraiser. T-shirts were purchased at cost only, allowing $10 per shirt to go to the Dotson family. The fundraiser produced nearly $3,000 for the family. That may not sound like much to some, but it was a huge success in making sure funds were available for travel.
Ryan’s family would like to thank everyone who bought a shirt. They said that every time Ryan sees someone with a shirt on, it lets him know that he has the support of the community.
To extend more help to the Dotson family, another fundraiser will be held to benefit Ryan and his family. A wrestling event is being planned to raise money and to let Ryan shine in the spotlight. All proceeds will go directly to the family.
The event is scheduled for May 31 at the old Matewan High School gymnasium, known now as the Old School Fitness Center. It will include a meet and greet with the wrestlers from 6-7 p.m. with the main events beginning at 7:30.
Any monetary assistance from any individual or business would be greatly appreciated. Those interested in sponsoring this event should contact Tim Epling at 606-625-5300 or Andy Varney at 270-313-5232.