Jewelry sales help in boy’s cancer fight

Published 10:02 pm Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Melissa and Chris Hodges discovered their son Henry has a malignant brain tumor. (Submitted photo)

Before Henry Hodges could celebrate his second birthday, he was fighting for his life.
Henry first appeared to be suffering from some sort of flu virus, said his cousin Meagan Overman, a Washington resident. His parents, Melissa and Chris Hodges, realized it was something worse when Henry started losing coordination.
“He is just the sweetest little boy. He’s very loving, very energetic,” Overman said.
Henry is being treated at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters in Norfolk, Va. He was diagnosed with cancer in June.
Doctors found a brain tumor and discovered it was malignant during surgery to remove it. They also discovered the tumor was buried too deeply to remove it, Overman said.
“Now, he’s going through chemotherapy and radiation,” Overman said. “They’re hoping they can shrink it down enough to remove it.”
“It’s a bittersweet time for them. They also recently had a new baby,” Overman said.
When Overman learned of her young cousin’s condition, the jewelry maker thought one of her prayer rings might give his family some comfort. She soon found her jewelry could do more than that.
At the suggestion of her mother, Overman started a fundraiser via her Facebook page selling prayer rings and some of her bracelets to ease the financial burden that has accompanied Henry’s treatment.
The family has insurance, but it does not cover travel, accommodations for his family and all of his medical expenses.
Overman designed a men’s bracelet made of suede and a colorful, beaded bracelet for women. Each bracelet reads, “Pray for Henry.” A ring is available in silver or gold. All of the pieces are handmade by Team Henry. Family members joined Overman’s efforts and helped her fill some of the orders.
“They were a blessing. It would’ve taken me forever to fill all of the orders,” Overman said. “A lot of the supplies have been donated, which has also been a huge blessing. It means that 100 percent of the profits can go to Henry’s family.”
Team Henry has organized a golf tournament. The fundraiser will be held Aug. 28 at the Beechwood Country Club in Ahoskie.
An account has been set up at the State Employees’ Credit Union, where donations and fundraising proceeds may be made to the Henry P. Hodges account.