Miracle House Update

December 16, 2007 |

Thank you a million times to those listeners and websurfers who have responded so quickly and generously to the cause of the Rozema family and their house.  I’m grateful and amazed at how fast things move when people are touched by a great cause.  I’m especially thankful to one former Loyola Don who has risen to the occasion in less than twelve hours with his company, time and materials (you know who you are!).  Again, thank you all on behalf of the people who are making a miracle happen in Jacksonville!

The Rozema family is coming back to Baltimore tonight; Johnny’s condition has worsened considerably and he needs to get back to Hopkins.  Your thoughts and prayers for this brave ten-year-old are what’s needed most right now.

I stopped by the Rozema house after my show today.  There are some incredibly dedicated people coming to the aid of the family.  It’s literally a whirlwind of activity – and yours truly actually helped cut and hang some greenboard!  My friends who know me well are probably asking how out-of-plumb that shower wall is right now (by my eye, only about a half-inch, give or take!).

There are some items still needed to reach the finish line: R-38 insulation for the attic.  12 ceiling fans.  Beige carpeting (not burburr, please).  Linoleum for the kitchen floor (Pressed Stone Pattern is preferred).  Outlet cover (Lots of outlets!).  Lighting fixtures.  A floodlight or two for the exterior.

Anything you could donate financially, no matter how small, would be GREATLY appreciated!  The John Rozema Jr. Fund has been opened at SunTrust Bank’s Mays Chapel branch.  Contact Cheryl Davis at 410-308-9093.  Email me at mark@wnst.net and I’ll get you in touch with Johnny’s Angels for donations of building supplies.  They are an exceptional group of people.

I thought I’d share a little bit more from other people’s writings here about Johnny Rozema.  These were given to me today during my visit.  They were written by family and friends. 

Thanks again and God Bless All for your generosity and compassion.

I am writing with some upsetting news about a community member.  Johnny Rozema, Jr. is a ten year old who should be a fifth grader at Jacksonville Elementary, where he has gone to school since pre-K.  Instead, since March, Johnny has been bravely fighting Burkitt’s Lymphoma under the care of Johns Hopkins Medical Center.  Johnny lives with his grandmother, his parents, John and Holly, his sister Emily (12) and brother Luke(7).  As you can imagine, caring for a young son with cancer and chemo treatments, as well as attempting to provide a sense of normalcy for your other young children, has proven to be a difficult challenge for John and Holly.  It is trying times like these when a community can pull together and make a difference.

I have been best friends with John Rozema since he moved into the community in 1980.  Johnny is my godson and I should tell you he is the bravest boy you will ever get the honor of knowing.  Since being diagnosed, Johnny has undergone 8 rounds of intensive chemotherapy treatments.  His doctors thought that one more round of chemo would put Johnny into remission.  Unfortunately, it was discovered that the cancer had "morphed" and now is on Johnny’s heart.  Johnny is now undergoing radiation in addition to chemo – and an additional 6 to 8 months more of chemo.

We are trying to raise money through small fundraisers, but we are hopeful that you would open your hearts and contibute (no amount is too small) to help this family in great need.  Monetary donations are extremely helpful, as they can apply the funds towards bills, Johnny’s medications or parking fees at Hopkins.  There are plenty of other ways to help the family- a home-cooked meal or gas cards are great ideas.  Again, no amount is too small!