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JesterZ Hosts a FUN-draiser for 4-year-old Cancer Patient

91On Sunday, February 24, Grant Lindman, age 4, complained about what his parents, Abe and Kristen Lindman, of the Valley View Ward, Hermosa Vista Stake, thought may be a broken rib.

He was ultimately sent to Phoenix Children’s Hospital and, after hours, and into days, of biopsies, scans and tests, Grant was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare cancer that affects mainly children and adolescents.

The mass they found was quite large, extending from the bottom of Grant’s chest cavity to his collarbone and was compromising one lung and threatening his airway. Grant remained in ICU for five days.

When they heard what was happening, Shurlin and Jef Rawls immediately looked for ways to help.

Both Jef and Shurlin, a member of the Primary presidency in Valley View Ward, had taught Grant in Primary. They also own Jester’z Improv Comedy, which, since 2001, has performed more than 2,500 shows, sharing their own brand of clean, family-friendly humor at Theater 168 in Scottsdale and at events throughout Phoenix metro area.

“I have wondered how Jester’z could do more to give back. We have donated to things but I wondered how we could do something on our own to really help families who were going through hard times,” Shurlin says.

Here was an opportunity to put her passion into practice, and she and Jef came up with the idea of a “FUN-draiser”-a night of improve comedy and a live auction, with all proceeds going toward Grant’s surgeries and chemotherapy.

“Although this is a very serious situation, and is no laughing matter-life is meant to be cherished and enjoyed. I’m sure we all agree that the sound of our children laughing is one of the best sounds we parents hear,” Shurlin says.

The Lindmans are appreciative that the JesterZ owners and other friends have come together to host this FUN-draiser.

“This is a great blessing and expression of kindness,” he says, adding that while they are feeling the weight of the trial, they are extremely “hopeful” and “grateful.”

Already, some miracles have been realized, including that Grant has been able able to breath sufficiently well with one lung and a partially compromised airway and, although his heart and other organs have been displaced due to the tumor’s mass, his functioning is normal.

After chemotherapy to reduce the tumor, Grant will have surgery to remove it.

“It will be a pretty serious kind of surgery,” Abe says, “but the oncologists are very optimistic.”

Following that, chemotherapy will continue for six months.

Shurlin says, as the Lindmans face the associated “emotional rollercoaster” of it all, “The community at large are all wanting to help out. Prayers are offered, dinners are dropped off, cards and gifts are sent.”

“I am so grateful,” Abe says. “We’ve just been thrilled and grateful to friends and family for their prayers and everything they’ve done-and now for this fundraiser. I’m really at a loss for words.”

The FUN-draiser will be May 20 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Stapley Jr. High (3250 E. Hermosa Vista Dr.) in Mesa. Dance Studio C, with groups that include Grant’s sister, Ava, and some of his classmates, will perform a couple of numbers, then the JesterZ improv comedy troupe (www.jesterzimprov.com) will take the stage for approximately 75 minutes.

To pre-purchased tickets ($10) contact Shurlin Rawls at 480-962-9262. (Note: Seating is limited to 450.) Auction items can be donated by contacting Shurlin as well.

Bisit the FUN-draiser Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/grantsFUNdraiser for information or to make a donation. Additional donations to Grant Lindman’s care can be taken to any Wells Fargo branch. For information about his progress, visit his page (Grant Lindman) at www.caringbridge.org.