Father helps young daughter fight cancer

A Conrad man devotes his time to taking care of his 6-year-old daughter who has cancer.

Jon Holden, 35, is a single dad of Alicia, a BCLUW student, who was diagnosed with stage two ependymoma, a cancerous brain tumor, earlier this year.

Alicia just started radiation treatment two weeks ago in Memphis, Tenn., at St. Jude’s Hospital.

The treatment will last about six weeks. After Alicia was diagnosed, Jon said he looks at everything differently.

“Even if it’s just getting a smile, it’s the little things that go the distance,” Jon said. “Most people sit there. I was guilty of it as well, we look at the little things and you think they don’t matter. But it’s the little things that make everything better.”

A typical day for the two consists of waking up and watching Spongebob, Care Bears or Papa Troll, then meeting with doctors for treatment.

Alicia likes to eat watermelon, pepperoni at two specific restaurants.

“There’s day where she wants to eat at Chili’s or Perkins because it reminds her of home,” Jon said.

The two do whatever Alicia is in the mood to do.

“She’ll get time on her iPad,” Jon said. “There’s games I put on my phone. She spends time painting. We’ve got a lot of activities here whether it’s set up at the room or throughout St. Jude’s Hospital.”

Her favorite activity she did with her dad was when he took her to the zoo, Alicia said. With a smile, Alicia said she loves her dad.

Alicia and Jon will stay in Memphis until early to mid-August.

Donations to Jon and Alicia can be made to Prayers Love and Hugs for the Alicia Holden Fund at any Wells Fargo location.