The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local News

January 21, 2013

Van the Man expected to raise over $10,000

Benefit will help cancer patient Van Green, family with medical costs

ANDERSON, Ind. —  Looking around at the large crowd in attendance at a benefit concert for their son, Van Green, Sunday evening, Lukas Green and Kristi Clouse said they didn’t expect the amount of support they’d received.

From family. From friends. From complete strangers.

“It’s absolutely, absolutely beyond our expectations,” Lukas said as he prepared to go on stage for his own song. “It’s pretty special.”

Around 7 p.m., about 150 people watched as various gospel and country artists went on stage to perform for the Van the Man benefit at Bridge Church behind Mounds Mall. Van, 4, has been receiving treatment for meduloblastoma, a form of brain cancer.

With the $7 chicken noodles dinner held beforehand, T-shirt purchases and freewill offerings, the family expected to raise over $10,000 to help with medical costs.

“It was awesome,” said Adam Moore, one of the community supporters who doesn’t personally know the family. “It’s the first benefit I’ve been to and it’s great to see the community get together for a child.”

Clouse said some wonder where all the good people have gone in the world. She said some of those were right there at the concert and the family is thankful.

New lifelong friendships have been developed, she said, as many community members stopped by, including Johnathon Binnion’s mom, Latoya Nance. Binnion, 5, also has brain cancer.

“Awareness is the big thing,” Clouse said. “We want to go out there and do something to spread it.”

That’s why Van the Man is slated to become an annual event to help raise money for other families dealing with childhood cancer, she said.

This year, the family got started by asking for nonperishable food items for Operation Love. Clipzone Salon and Spa, where Clouse worked before the discovery of Van’s cancer, also shaved heads and handed out bandannas, or Vandannas, to show support and spread awareness.

Now that the benefit is over and the family has a little bit of time to spend together before treatment starts up again, Clouse said their family is flying them out to California for a week just to relax.

On Valentine’s Day, Van will begin his 11 months of chemotherapy. She said the first two days will be inpatient care, but that they’ll then be traveling back and forth to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

Clouse doesn’t know what the next bout of treatment holds for Van, but said he’s made it through surgery, radiation and “going to kick its (chemo’s) butt, too.”

Find Dani Palmer on Facebook and @DaniPalmer_THB on Twitter, or call 640-4847.

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