With hope and an outpouring of community support, two Rossville families are overcoming health struggles this year and the Rossville Lions Club is raising money to help.
The club is hosting its upcoming 22nd annual Rossville Lions Club Chili Supper Friday and expects to raise $1,500 each for the Majors and Emens families. Every year the Rossville Lions Club sponsors the dinner to help a family in need.
“Typically we do just one family, but we saw a dire need in both of these families,” said Lions Club member Dave Severt.
Severt said they normally go through the schools and churches to find the families, and one is an 8-year-old Rossville Elementary student Bell Majors.
Bell suffers from neurofibromatosis type 1, which is a genetically inherited condition that causes benign or cancerous tumors to grow on the body. Frequent scanning is required to ensure the tumors don’t turn cancerous.
On March 1, 2012, doctors discovered Bell’s tumors had turned cancerous and she underwent 6 months of chemotherapy treatment, multiple surgeries and proton therapy. The treatments were successful, but according to her doctors, Bell may have much further to go.
“It took eight months to the day to get rid of it,” said Dawn Majors, Bell’s mother.
“The chances of it reoccurring is 80 percent. We were just thankful to God that she was cancer free for now.”
Bell returned to school this week and is looking forward to her upcoming birthday Feb. 9, because that’s when her wish from the Make a Wish Foundation is coming true.
“We’ll be at Disney World for her birthday,” Dawn said, including Bell’s three older sisters, ages 11-16.
With the likelihood of the cancer returning, Bell will continue regular screenings and Dawn said the health costs are mounting.
“(Bell’s) full of spirit and she’s one of the strongest kids I know,” Dawn said. “She had a positive outlook throughout the whole thing.”
The other family receiving Rossville Lions Club support, the Emens family, is also dealing with health concerns.
Rossville resident Phil Emens, 61, has spent 15 weeks in a hospital recovering from a severe motorcycle accident on Oct. 4. Emens has had 11 surgeries and his wife, Jane, expects him to have at least two more.
“They’re planning to dismiss him next Thursday and he’s to have a therapist come in three days a week,” Jane said.
“He’s in a wheelchair and he can slowly stand up with a walker. He just has a long way to go.”
Emens suffered multiple injuries, including broken ribs, a punctured and collapsed lung, crushed pelvis and a fracture in his back.
“By the grace of God and because he had his helmet on, he survived,” Jane said of the accident on State Road 39.
Emens’ recovery process has been an emotional roller coaster for Jane, saying she has “good days and bad days.” She added that the hospital bills are a struggle, and the money raised from the chili supper will be used toward his health costs.
“Our bills are just unreal,” she said.
Emens retired from Frito-Lay four years ago and is also retired from the Indiana National Guard.
Jane said she has received a lot of support from her community and church, Rossville United Methodist Church.
“We’re leaning on the Lord to get us through this and I know he will. It’s just a little tough right now,” she said.
In addition to the chili supper, the Rossville Lions Club donated $2,000 each for the Rossville Park, fire department and ambulance service in 2012. The club also awarded $6,000 worth of scholarships and $1,050 to Lions State Projects.
Help from the Lions
Bell Majors is recovering from cancer treatments, and her family is one of two that will benefit from this year’s annual Rossville Lions club chili supper, to be held Friday.
Benefiting from chili supper
Bell Majors sits in her favorite chair at home. Bell is recovering from cancer treatments, and her family is one of two that will benefit from this year’s annual Rossville Lions club chili supper, to be held Friday.
Phil and Jane Emens
Chili supper coming
Rossville Lions Club President Bob Crispen (left), Committee Member David Hudson and Committee Chairman Gene Mellinger put up a sign announcing the group’s annual chili supper. This year proceeds will benefit two families that have gone through major health issues in the past year.
A Rossville Lions Club member serves chili at the group’s annual chili supper last year.