Bella Jam Saturday to raise funds for brave little cancer suvivor
By Jim Turner

Posted on January 1, 0001 12:00 AM


On April 10 of this year, I received the following message from one of my college students:

“I’m not going to be able to make class once again. My two year old Bella is still sick. It’s been a month, and I have already taken her to the doctor twice. She is very dizzy on her feet and just not acting right. I have been worried sick about her. I’m not leaving Bowling Green without answers today. Please keep my baby in your prayers.”

Six days later, the same young man, Jon Phelps of Auburn, sent this chilling message:

“I have been in Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital since Wednesday after finally getting a CT scan done. I have been very concerned for her the past month and a half, fighting with the doctors about treating her for allergies when I didn’t feel like that was the issue. I was watching her deteriorate in front of my eyes and didn’t know why. The CT scan told the story. The CT scan found a tumor on her brain stem, which wasn’t allowing her CSF (spinal fluid) to drain down her spine, in turn causing it all to back up into her skull. The pressure was causing her brain to shut her body down, which explains why she has been throwing up every morning and in the end couldn’t walk at all. They haven’t found any tumors anywhere else, so we are just dealing with the one in the brain. It has been very difficult and a trying time. They are scheduled to do surgery Tuesday to remove the tumor, which is the only option for her survival. We are hoping that it comes back not cancerous, but if it does it will require further treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation. I haven’t had a chance to do much school work but plan on going and getting my books late tonight to try my best to catch up. Please let me know what is planned so I can try to get through this time and still finish up this semester successfully. I take pride in my work and love attending your classes. I also would like to ask that you encourage everyone to pray for my daughter. She has been through so much and has a very long and hard road ahead of her. Thank you so much.”

The tumor proved to be malignant. Difficult and expensive days and months lay ahead. Four-plus months, six surgeries and 33 radiation treatments later, Jon wrote this message two weeks ago on the “Prayers for Bella” Facebook group site, which has a staggering 1,669 members:

Stephanie and I would like everyone to know that our little angel is officially in remission. All her scans came back clear yesterday. The next two years are crucial in keeping up with scans every three months. They will remove her port soon. Thank you for all your prayers. God is an awesome God and has answered. Make sure you continue to pray for her as she journeys forward. Come celebrate with us at Bella Jam on September the 8th.”

Christina Blake, a devoted family friend, has organized“A Day for Grace: Bella Jam 12”to celebrate the good news and to raise funds to help repay those medical bills incurred by Annabelle Grace Phelps and her parents. It will be held on the Franklin Square from 1-7 p.m., featuring many games, food, face-painting, inflatables, a silent auction and much more. One of the musical groups will be the popular 68 Eighty, which features Jon Phelps singing and strumming his guitar. Also entertaining will be Ninehorse Johnson, Final Chapter and Krown of Thorns.

Blake has also organized a motorcycle ride. Registration for the Bella Jam Benefit Ride will begin at 9 a.m. on the Franklin Square, and the group will leave at 10 a.m. for a 70-mile, three-county ride that will return to Franklin in time for the festivities.

Additionally, the Brothers in Blue of Logan County plan to meet at Russellville’s Colonial Inn Saturday morning to ride as a group to Franklin to join the Bella Jam Benefit Ride. Contact Blake at or call 772-2080 for more information about that.

Many people have been keenly interested in Bella’s progress, as evidenced by the large number of people in the prayer group. Every day for weeks we checked Jon’s posts for word about the little girl propped up by tube and IV’s.

Lynne Thomas, who understands what is involved in the costs and the care of a very sick child through her own son Josh continuing to recover from a traumatic vehicle crash, wrote on the Facebook page “The power of prayer in Logan County, Ky.” Thursday:

“There is a child in our community that has touched the hearts of many. Hr name is Bella Phelps. Her dad is a member of our church at New Life Baptist..Bella is 2 1/2 years old and has cancer. She is currently in remission! Thank you, God, for answered prayers! A lot of good, caring people have been working hard recently to plan a benefit to help pay Bella's medical bills. The benefit is scheduled this Saturday in Franklin. The weather forecast now calls for rain beginning Friday night and continuing through Saturday. Hear our prayers again, Lord; please let the rains hold off on Saturday.....for Bella.”

Jon Phelps says, “Annabella now has a savings account in her name at US Bank. If anyone cannot make the event Sept. 8 but would like to donate to her, you can write it out straight to her and send it to 53 Matlock Rd. Auburn 42206 or you can send it to her mother, Stephanie Sloan. Thank you all for your support and all of your prayers. Bella is such a fighter and such a blessing. Thank you God for all that you do.”

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