AJ Leffler, a sixth-grader at Andrew Lewis, is now battling cancer after having a brain tumor removed March 12. As he prepares to undergo at least 18 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, the Andrew Lewis Middle School community is showing their support with a series of events to raise money for the Leffler family.
Joy Postmus, AJ’s best friend since the first grade, created “AJ’s Army, ask me about courage” with help from guidance counselor Melinda Farley and the Rachel’s Challenge club at ALMS.
*Wednesday, April 18: Bojangles on West Main Street in Salem is donating $1 to AJ for every Cajun Chicken Biscuit or Chicken Filet meal bought.
*Saturday, April 28: “Something for Everyone Fundraiser” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Re-Max parking lot across from the Salem Post Office. They’ll have a car wash, bake sale, a raffle and silent auction, and will be selling 31 bags, with all proceeds going to the Leffler family. For more information, contact Monica Farris at 389-2113
-Saturday May 12 OR Saturday, May 19: Pancake Breakfast at Andrew Lewis
-Walkathon at ALMS in May
-AJ’s Army hopes to host a “Pack the Park” event at a Salem Red Sox game in June.
-Another group, “Friends of AJ” has plans for a Poker Run Motorcycle Ride and shows at Billy’s Barn within the next two months. We’ll add more information in about upcoming fundraisers when it becomes available.
AJ’s battle with the brain tumor and cancer started in early March, when he had headaches, a sick stomach, and was sensitive to light and sound. Emergency room doctors sent him to Roanoke Memorial Children’s Intensive Care unit, and he had surgery to remove the tumor sitting at the top of his spinal column on March 12.
“They discovered it was an immature teratoma, a type of cancer,” his mom Patsy said. He recovered for several weeks at Kluge’s Children’s Rehabilitation Center in Charlottesville, where they helped with his physical recovery as well as his academics. Patsy said he is recovering well, although he misses riding his bike over at Kiwanis Field, and he is sad that he probably won’t be able to play rec league football this fall.
For more info, you can also visit the Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/#!/AJsArmy