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Doctors remove tumor from Nathan Jaffrey

Heidi RiceWestern Garfield County Staff

SILT Surgeons removed a tumor the size of a hard-boiled egg from 4-year-old Nathan Jaffreys chest on Tuesday afternoon, and the little boy is doing well, according to his father, Marc Jaffrey.Meanwhile, people from throughout the valley have been donating all kinds of great items for a silent auction, street dance and benefit dinner to be held for the Jaffrey family this Saturday by the Burning Mountains Fire Protection District.Nathan, of Silt, was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma in late May and has been hospitalized at Presbyterian/St. Lukes Hospital in Denver. The cancer has settled in Nathans lungs and spread to his lymph nodes, neck and bone marrow.And although he now has a tube in his chest and is uncomfortable, his father says his son came through the surgery better than anyone anticipated.Hes doing very well, hes doing wonderful, said Marc Jaffrey. The surgeons said (the operation) couldnt have gone better.Using laproscopic equipment, the tumor was removed from above Nathans heart. And because of the delicacy of the operation, it took two surgeons to remove the growth.The little boy has nicknamed his disease Mr. Yucky.He asked the surgeons to take out Mr. Yucky and jump on top of it, Jaffrey said. Hes very upset with Mr. Yucky.Upon recovery from his surgery, Nathan will resume his sixth round of chemotherapy and the family can hopefully come home in mid-November where he can get radiation treatment nearby.Both Marc and his wife, Mary, have been unable to work since Nathans hospitalization, and are currently staying in Denver with their two other children, Addie, 2, and Alex, 13. Although the family has health insurance, some of the experimental treatment is not covered and the medical bills are more than $500,000.The Burning Mountain Fire Protection District, of which Jaffrey has been a volunteer for 11 years, is hosting a silent auction, street dance and spaghetti dinner from 5-8 p.m. on Saturday to help raise funds for the family. The event will be held at the Burning Mountains Fire Station 1, at 611 Main St., in Silt.Weve got more cool stuff than you can imagine, said Fire Chief Brit McLin. Weve got about 90 items and were pretty pleased.Auction items include a brand-new recliner; fleece robes; all sorts of wine; two tickets to the Brooks & Dunn concert; two tickets to the Paul McCartney concert both being held at the Pepsi Center in Denver; two halves of a hog; vouchers for hunting licenses in Zones 41, 42 and 421; three cow elk tags valid until Jan. 31 in combination with a free stay at a five-bedroom house on a 1,300-acre ranch in Bailey (one hour west of Denver); and more.Theres a street dance put on by the Lions Club from 6-11 p.m. with music provided by The Dags, who are donating their entertainment.Marc Jaffrey said either he or his wife may attend the event.We appreciate everything everybody is doing, Jaffrey said. Everybody has been wonderful.A bank account in Nathan Jaffreys name has also been set up. Donations may be made at US Bank, 802 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 or by calling (970) 945-5422.For more information about the fund-raiser or how you can help out, call Adria Milton or Wendy Mead at 876-5738.


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