It started, said Julie Montgomery, with a text message from Betsy Conners.
Connors’ 16 year old son, Tim, is fighting for his life in a Boston hospital.Â He needs a bone marrow transplant to work in order to beat the cancer in his body.Â The family is among the best known in the city. Dad, Mike Conners, is the massively successful Fulton football and wrestling coach.Â Mom, Betsy, is a top official of the city school district and a former Principal at Lanigan Elementary.
The text message said she was worried.Â “Betsy doesn’t worry about anything.Â When she does, it’s serious,” Montgomery said.
A huge community of people has come together to help the family.Â The effort, called Tug For Tim, included a massive fundraiser that took over the parking lot and bowling alley at Lakeview Lanes and raised thousands of dollars.
Students and teachers wore orange on the first day of school, the color ofÂ the Tug For Tim t-shirts, in his honor.
And they’ve all signed up on the family’s blog, at CaringBridge.org, to keep up with Tim’s health.
The family posted an update at 11:15 a.m. Monday that confirmed the difficult assessment. “Tim is having a really tough time,” the note said, adding that there were problems with Tim’s kidneys and liver.
“We need to ask everyone to pray for Tim,” it continued. “We ask that the prayers today focus on strength for Tim during this difficult time as well as prayers for the doctors and nurses to have the tools they need to help Tim make it through this difficult rollercoaster ride. Remember that things tend to be darkest just before the dawn.”
At midday, Montgomery posted a note on her Facebook page, calling on people to join her at Bullhead Point Monday night for a group prayer. Others pasted the call to prayer into their Facebook status messages.
The result: By 7:30 p.m., several dozen people gathered in the pavilion along the lake to say several prayers and stand in meditative silence for several minutes.
When they got home, there was a new CaringBridge blog post from the family waiting for them, and it held some good news:
“The prayers are working….thank you to all of you on Team Tim!” the note said. The family added that Tim’s “not out of the woods yet” and still has kidney problems to beat, but that the picture had improved since morning, and since a group of people decided to gather for an impromptu prayer.
UPDATE: A new post on the CaringBridge site notes that Tim Conners has been moved into the intensive care wing as of Tuesday morning.