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Poker run to help young cancer patient

by Franny White

STAFF WRITER

In January, Grafton High School student Joseph Greynolds, 16, got a call from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. The doctor told him and his family that he had a brain tumor too deep to be operated on.

Since then, he's traveled once a month to John Hopkins and also to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown for chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

This month he will finish his last round of chemotherapy. After this dose, doctors say his body can't take any further treatments.

Different groups in the Grafton area have sponsored fund-raisers to help the Greynolds family: Eileen, her husband Joey, and their three sons, Joseph, Barry, 14, and Michael, 24.

Now, Bridgeport restaurant manager Mary Metzgar, regional operator Denise Biafore and all the other employees of the four local Shoney's restaurants are organizing a fund-raiser for Saturday.

The Shoney's in Bridgeport, Elkins, Fairmont and Morgantown are hosting a motorcycle poker run to help the Greynolds family with their son's growing medical costs.

"Joseph's young, and when you think that's such a special time in their life, he's missing out on so much," Metzgar said of her motivation behind the fund-raiser.

Metzgar and Biafore have organized their employees to help the surrounding communities in several events.

Metzgar said it's the uplifting feeling she gets after helping out someone else that keeps Shoney's contributions coming.

A poker run is a card game on wheels. Motorcyclists ride from location to location, picking a playing card at each. At the fifth location, the cyclists compare their collected hands.

The run will begin at the Bridgeport Shoney's, moving on to the Shoney's restaurants in Elkins, Morgantown and Fairmont, and will end back at Bridgeport.

Registration is $10 per bike and runs from 10 a.m.-noon at the Bridgeport Shoney's.

For those who don't ride but would like to help the Greynolds, $10 donations will be accepted during the registration time.

Joseph is dealing with something more difficult than most people twice his age ever have to deal with. But he keeps trying, said Joseph's mother, Eileen.

"We're not going to give up, plain and simple," Eileen said. "Joseph's a fighter."

With the money raised, Metzgar and Biafore hope to take unnecessary financial stresses away from the Greynolds family, thereby enabling them to enjoy time with their son.

When Joseph met with Biafore recently, she said he had an upbeat, determined personality, saying, "I will get through this."

He's currently looking forward to taking a front seat at a NASCAR race in Bristol, Tenn. and meeting his hero, race car driver Mark Martin.

Although Eileen didn't know if her son would be riding a motorcycle in Saturday's run, she said he'd at least be able to get a picture with some of the motorcyclists.

Staff writer Franny White can be reached at 626-1443.

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