The main goal in 18-year-old Jeffrey Woods’ life is to be a photographer, but for now he has had to put that goal aside and take up the formidable task of battling a foe that has a strange name, but he’s not alone. His family, friends — and even strangers — are stepping up to help him.
A motorcycle ride called "J's Ride Motorcycle Rally — A benefit for Jeffrey Woods" will be held Saturday morning to help raise money for Woods’ family.
The ride will begin at Carl Cannon in Jasper with registration at 9 a.m. and kick stands up at 10 a.m. So far, there are a confirmed 200 motorcyclists signed up to participate in the ride, which will then travel to Natural Bridge in Winston County before ending at Dora Park in East Walker, where a cash drawing will be held and music will be performed by the group, Traumatide, along with plenty of food, fun and tons of door prizes.
“The Dora Youth Athletics donated the use of the park as a landing place and as a community wide benefit,” Woods’ aunt Sue Jones said. “But donations can be made at any location of Regions Bank in the account name of "J's Ride.”
Jones said registration forms and flyers are available upon request on Facebook under "Benefit Ride for Jeffrey."
Woods was diagnosed with a malignant mass in his colon at St. Vincent Hospital in Birmingham on May 29, 2012, just one week before he was to graduate from Corner High School, and just over two weeks before his 18th birthday. He was then transferred to UAB where a biopsy was performed on the mass that was found in his colon, which was diagnosed as cancer.
“A pet scan then revealed that the cancer was in several places throughout Jeffrey’s body,” Jones said. “So UAB transferred him, because of his age, to Vanderbilt Hospital in Tennessee,” Jones said. “Vanderbilt performed another biopsy on his colon and one on his sternum.”
Earlier this month, doctors determined Woods has Plasmablastic lymphoma, an exceedingly rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in men younger than 50.
Woods, who is the son of Jeffrey Woods of Corner and Kim and James Vance of Dora, traveled back to Tennessee earlier this week with his parents, where he underwent surgery on Monday to have a port implanted, through which an intensive form of chemotherapy will be administered.
“Our family would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the effort to make this ride happen,” Jones said. “There are a lot of sponsors listed on the flyer, and several who wished to remain anonymous, but please know the family knows who you are, and to all of you, we are deeply moved by your generosity.”
For more information about J’s Ride Motorcycle Rally, contact Clint Anderson at (205) 522-9691.