SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Vona Weiss’ words read like a timeline of her love for her son.
“I see the baby who smelled like warm buttered toast when he was curled up in my arms those first few months of his life,” reads Vona, from her recent post on her ‘Team Weiss’ fundraising page for the National Brain Tumor Society in advance of their regional walk against brain cancer in May.
Vona posted a twenty paragraph letter on her fundraising page, hoping others will truly understand the fight that still lies ahead for her son, 30 year old Ethan Weiss, a Shreveport native now living in California.
“My son has brain cancer,” Vona continues reading.
“Most days are easier to pretend it’s happening to someone else. But it isn’t,” Vona reads with tears streaming down her cheeks.
Last October, Vona says her son, now married with a child, began complaining about headaches. A couple of trips to a doctors later, he was diagnosed with having a brain tumor attached to his brain stem.
The Weiss family’s interest in one day defeating this heartless disease continued to grow, leading up to Vona forming ‘Team Weiss’ and typing this long testament in honor of her son Ethan earlier this month.
“It was really cathartic, and very good for me to get it out,” explains Vona.
But in just a few days time, donations to the ‘Team Weiss’ page quickly began to grow.
“Over the weekend I was getting lots of emails about donations,” begins Tyler Pagel with the National Brain Tumor Society’s northwest regional office.
“They kept coming,” Tyler continues, explaining how his work email gets notifications every time a large donation is made to a team’s walk page.
“A thousand dollars, then five thousand dollars,” he explained, noting that donation totals for ‘Team Weiss’ had already reaching close to $20,000 dollars in just three days time.
“I went to find out what group of people had done that. And it turned out it was just one, Vona Weiss,” says Tyler.
In roughly two weeks time, Vona’s walk page has raised close to $60,000 dollars for a west coast walk with a fundraising goal of $140,000.
“Not only is she the top fundraiser this year, but the top fundraiser in the history of the northwest regional walk,” adds Tyler.
Vona’s son Ethan is just as impressed.
“I’m very impressed with what my Mom has put together,” begins Ethan.
“It’s touching and incredible, the amount of love put forward, especially since I don’t know a lot of these people.”
Ethan is on a break from chemotherapy and radiation, but has many more treatments to go before doctors could one day declare him cancer free.
Vona says ‘Team Weiss’ will continue raising money with hopes others will donate to the National Brain Tumor Society, in her son’s honor.
“I see the child that I promised to always keep safe,” an emotional Vona highlights from her team page letter.
“I don’t care if you’re 90 years old and your son is 70. It doesn’t matter. It’s still your baby.”