School hasn't started yet, but 8-year-old Joseph Conway already knows he will be missing some time.
That's hardly a reason to celebrate for the Norwalk boy: He must regularly go to the Cleveland Clinic to treat a brain tumor, located on his brain stem.
Joseph was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2004, and to offset medical costs, Croghan Colonial Bank is holding a benefit chicken dinner from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 24 at Chef's Market.
Joseph, the son of David and Wanda Conway, is the nephew of Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway.
Family friend Jennie Hipp, who works at Croghan Colonial Bank, is helping to organize the benefit dinner.
"It's just so nice that they're doing this," Wanda Conway said. "It's wonderful all the support that we've gotten. Hopefully we'll be able to repay people for all that they've done."
Joseph's ordeal began in 2004, when his difficulty breathing made his parents and doctors think he had asthma. In two different instances, he passed out and doctors recommended a Cat Scan of Joseph's neck and chest. A Cat Scan of his brain, to check the area that regulates breathing, discovered the tumor.
Wanda said doctors were able to remove 85 to 90 percent of the cancerous growth, but the remaining part was in an area too delicate for further surgery.
Joseph has gone through three courses of chemotherapy, none of which worked. He began five-day-a-week radiation treatments in July, and that will continue through the last week of August.
Joseph's mother said her son is doing better, and figures such as Pooh-Bear and Sponge Bob help distract him from his illness.
"He has a wonderful spirit, he's so brave," she said. FOR YOUR INFO
A benefit chicken barbecue has been scheduled for 8-year-old Joseph Conway, who is fighting a brain tumor. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 24 at Chef's Market, 50 N. Prospect St., behind the Norwalk Reflector. Tickets are $8. If you purchase a ticket by Aug. 20, you'll be entered into a drawing to be eligible for various prizes.