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County residents can help 16-year-old fight cancer




JOHN PHILLIP MCCRAY

JOHN PHILLIP MCCRAY

Two community fund-raisers are planned for today (Wednesday) to help pay medical bills for a 16-year-old Letcher County Central High School student who was recently diagnosed with cancer.

John Phillip McCray, of Pine Mountain, had a knot on his neck that kept getting bigger. He couldn’t turn his head and was in pain. After several visits to the doctor, he was diagnosed two weeks ago with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is a type of cancer involving lymph nodes. The cancer is in his throat, around his heart and lungs.

“We were devastated when they told us,” said Nina Fields, Phillip’s grandmother.

Phillip’s mother, Milette McCray, is employed by the Letcher County Board of Education. Phillip has an 18-year-old brother, Joseph Daniel McCray II.

Phillip is a member of the LCCHS boys’ soccer team. He enjoys playing video games and has his driver’s license. He worked at the Isom IGA grocery store before he became ill. He wants to be a laboratory technician.

“He’s a fantastic grandson,” said Fields. “He’s not mean. We’ve never had any trouble out of him. He listens to his mother.”

Phillip has gone through intense chemotherapy at the University of Kentucky Pediatric Hematology- Oncology Clinic in Lexington. He isn’t scheduled for chemotherapy again until Aug. 2.

“We’re just going day by day and people are helping with gas money,” said Fields.

A bake sale is set for 9 a.m. today in front of the Letcher County Courthouse. Then WXKQ 103.9 radio station is hosting a radiothon beginning a 10 a.m. today. Call 633-2711 or 633-4434 to make a donation. The broadcast can be heard online at www.1039thebulldog.com.

A special account has been set up at Whitaker Bank in Whitesburg for people to make donations.

“Letcher County always comes together when called upon to help their friends and neighbors,” said Kevin Day, general manager and programmer of WXKQ 103.9.

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