- Joshua Cantrell - Joshua Cantrell - Chance Harman - Kassidy Foster
In The News

February 28, 2007
Brunswick Stew!
Bethlehem United Methodist Church raises nearly $11,000 for

Cindy Tweedy
Bethlehem United Methodist Church
February 28, 2007
I am writing to tell you that Bethlehem United Methodist Church, in Concord, VA and the staff of Dr. Daniel Grabeel in Lynchburg, VA had a very successful fund raising day.  Our Brunswick Stew, Bake Sale and Auction was held on February 24th.  The final totals aren't exact yet, but the amount raised was near $11,000.  We were blessed with a beautiful day, lots of fun and fellowship.  Our wish is that this money will be used to help Joshua and Chance.  I just received word this evening that Joshua passed away and all of us here have the family in our prayers.  In the end, Joshua won his battle.  His reward is to be in heaven with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  To know that he is at peace and no longer suffering is a blessing.  We will continue to pray for all of the families involved in and hope God will grant them strength through these times.   Click here to see photo's of the event!

February 28, 2007
Fluvanna Co HS Spaghetti Benefit

Fellowship of Christian Athletes rasies more than $5,000

Coach David Blaha
Fluvanna County HS
February 28, 2007

Joshua's family is in our constant prayers during this time of sorrow, but we rejoice in the knowledge that he is with our Lord.

On Saturday, February 24th, the Fluvanna County High School Fellowship of Christian Athletes raised over $5,000.00 at the All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti Benefit Dinner/Silent Auction for the families of three small children battling very serious illness - Joshua Cantrell, Chance Harman, and 4 year old Mackenzie Gholson. 


Mackenzie is undergoing very specialized treatments for an extremely rare brain condition that is life-threatening.  She is currently doing much better, so much better that she was able to attend the event with her family. The next morning at 6:00AM Mackenzie and her parents were on a plane to Illinois for specialized testing and treatment. At the dinner several speakers gave powerful messages and testimonies including Pastor Jim Thornton, Pastor Warren Johnson, Mike Gholson (father of Mackenzie Gholson) and Hall Simmons (UVA football player). Chris Gorman of the UVA football team was also in attendance.



At the end of the dinner most of the people at the dinner rose up and laid hands on Mackenzie (and Joshua and Chance in absencia) The funds collected will be evenly divided between the three families.



February 27, 2007
WDBJ Channel 7
Services set for Floyd County boy who lost fight with cancer
WDBJ Channel 7

One of the Floyd County boys fighting cancer lost the battle Monday.

Joshua Cantrell was taken off life support Sunday evening.  We are told the family shared some special moments with him before he died Monday afternoon.

The family will receive visitors Wednesday beginning at 5:00 p.m. at the Floyd Presbyterian Church. A Memorial Service is scheduled Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at Floyd County High School. Family members will conduct a private graveside funeral service on Friday. 

The group Same Fight, dedicated to helping raise awareness and funds for the boys, will go on.  That's because Chance Harman is still undergoing treatment.  Joshua's Grandfather, Alan Cantrell, is the Head Coach of the Floyd County Girls Basketball Team.  They have dedicated their season to the boys. 

The Lady Buffalos have supported their coach and his family.  They will try to continue their season this Friday.  They play a State Quarterfinal Game against J.J. Kelly at Christiansburg High School. 


February 27, 2007
WSLS TV Channel 10
Boy Loses Battle with Cancer
NewsChannel 10
Feb 27, 2007

We've introduced you to 3 year-old Joshua Cantrell and 4 year-old Chance Harman before.
They are two boys in one small town, both fighting brain tumors.  Yesterday, Joshua lost his battle with cancer.  Throughout the tears and treatment the two families have been together every step of the way fighting for the boys. The news of Joshua's death leaves Chance's grandfather, Allen Harman, at a loss of words. "I don't know what to say. I just feel so bad for them."  Allen says his prayers are with Joshua's family.  Chance is still going through radiation. He has 13 treatments left. No matter what happens his grandfather says in the end he knows everything will be all right.
A memorial service for Joshua will be held Thursday in the gym at Floyd County High School at 7 p.m.
Instead of sending flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the American Brain Tumor Association at 2720 River Road; Des Plaines, Illinois, 60018.

February 27, 2007
Floyd County girls game postponed until Saturday

Jared Turner
The Roanoke Times

The Floyd County High School girls' basketball team's Group A state quarterfinal with J.J. Kelly High School scheduled for Friday night has been postponed because of the death on Monday of Joshua Cantrell. Game time is 7 p.m. on Saturday at Christiansburg High School.

Joshua was the 3-year-old grandson of Floyd County coach Alan Cantrell. Joshua was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in late December.

A viewing  will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Floyd Presbyterian Church . A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at the new Floyd County High School gymnasium, followed by a private family burial on Friday. Arrangements have been made with Gardner Funeral Home in Floyd.


February 27, 2007
Boy's life was short, but 'he blessed so many people'

Joshua Cantrell, 3, died Monday. He is one of two boys related to Floyd County basketball coaches who were being treated for brain tumors.

Joshua Cantrell

Joshua Cantrell

Past stories

The 3-year-old grandson of longtime Floyd County High School girls' basketball coach Alan Cantrell died Monday at Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center, according to Patricia Vaughn, a Floyd County resident and family friend.

Joshua Cantrell was pronounced dead about 4 p.m., less than a day after being taken off life support, Vaughn confirmed. The family returned home to Floyd late Monday night. Funeral arrangements have not been determined.

Diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in late December and admitted to Duke on Jan. 9, Joshua had been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments before being transferred to an intensive care unit on Feb. 19 with a staph infection and accelerated heart rate.

An MRI later revealed he had suffered a stroke that damaged his cerebellum -- the area of the brain that controls breathing, speech and motor skills. His physician deemed the swelling around the cerebellum a side effect of the radiation and chemotherapy.

Friends and supporters in and outside the Floyd County community -- where dozens of fundraisers and thousands of dollars have been generated for Joshua and 4-year-old Floyd County cancer patient Chance Harman -- mourn the death of the little boy who was well-known around Floyd County High School, particularly with the Buffaloes girls' basketball team.

"Joshua's life was short but he blessed so many people," Vaughn said.

Joshua's father, Travis Cantrell, is a first-year assistant coach under Alan Cantrell. Travis Cantrell took a leave of absence from the team when Joshua was diagnosed.

"We're all put on this Earth to glorify God and some of us just do it faster than others," said Vaughn.

"Although Joshua's life was short, he made such an impact on so many lives. I don't know what else to say."

Chance, the son of Floyd County boys' basketball coach Brian Harman, was admitted to Duke with a brain tumor three days after Joshua.

He continues to undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

"Remember the Harmans," said Vaughn, who last month helped organize the Web site as a means to generate funds and support for Chance and Joshua.

"This is extremely hard for them. They don't know what to say. What do you say when Chance wants to know where Joshua is?"

The undefeated Floyd County girls' basketball team is scheduled to compete in a Group A state quarterfinal game against J.J. Kelly High School at 7 p.m. Friday at Christiansburg High School.

The Buffaloes earned the Region C title last weekend with a win over Radford.

February 25, 2007
Special Music for Chance and Joshua

One Peace at a Time
Kari Thomas Kovick
Early Childhood Music Program of Floyd
February 25, 2007

One Peace at a Time is a series of music classes for children that are being held in many locations around town.  Donations are collected at the door, and matched by community members Ed Gralla and Randye Schwartz.  We have raised $900 so far!  We are singing songs for Chance and Joshua, and sending our love by playing music together. 

One of the songs is called Magic Penny, and sings:

Love is something if you give it away,
Give it away, give it away.
Love is something if you give it away,
You end up having more.

It's just like a magic penny,
Hold it tight and you won't have any.
Lend it, spend it, and you'll have so many
They'll roll all over the floor.

For love is something if you give it away,
Give it away, give it away.
Love is something if you give it away,
You end up having more.                                

(words and music by Malvina Reynolds; copyright 1955)

At each class, the children make "magic pennies" for the boys and add them to a "magic penny jar".  It's getting pretty full!  We have two events scheduled in March.  Join us on March 3rd at the Winter Sun beginning at 10am.  Then again at the Presbyterian Church on March 15th beginning at 10am.  Check out the Events page for more information.

February 25, 2007
Slate Mountain Success

Soup and Sandwich Fundraiser

Lisa Mauk
Slate Mountain Presbyterian Church
February 25, 2007 

Despite icy weather earlier during the week, and blowing snow, the members of Slate Mountain Presbyterian Church warmed things up with a Soup and Sandwich Fundraiser for, on Saturday, February 17, 2007.   Those who came out enjoyed soup, chili, sandwiches, desserts, drinks and fellowship enjoyed spending time with Joshua’s Great Grandma Ardena, Great Aunt Joan, Aunt Heidi, Uncle Jason and cousins Tori and Hunter.   There were also other cousins, aunts, family members and friends who turned out to make this evening special.   Through supper sales, donations, candle and bracelet sales, and finally a dessert auction, we were able to raise $2,170.00 to be donated to Medical Charities of Floyd for the Harman and Cantrell Families.  

I also thought that it might be neat to show a picture of the “Sharing Hope” cake that sold for $25.00 during the cake auction.   It was made and decorated by Lori Boyd (Cousin of Laura Cantrell.)

Thanks go to all of those who worked hard to make this evening a success.  
Click here to see photo's of the event.


February 25, 2007
Charity Auction
A great night at Check Elementary

Karen Taylor
1st grade teacher/SCA Sponsor
Check Elementary School
February 25, 2007
Last night was a GREAT success at Check Elementary.  There were 120+ items up for auction.  There were people as far as Wyoming who sent in items for the auction.  A commemorative quilted wall hanging with the yellow ribbon of hope was made and donated in honor of Josh and Chance.  The wall hanging is currently at the high school to be displayed in the gym.  Many people came out for the event and spaghetti dinner.  Our estimated total is $6,000+.   When we have a final total, we will update again.  The evening was completed with an emotional ending as talent show participants, led by Lauren Sapp, dedicated a song, “The Impossible” to Josh and Chance with a reminder to keep them and their families in everyone’s prayers. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.  Also, we do not have a total from the Ruritan supper or how many they fed.  We will let you know when we get that news.


Click here to see photo's of the event.

February 21, 2007
Cuttin' It Up for

$3,224.20 Haircut!

Pat Vaughn
February 21, 2007

Saturday turned out to be a great day to get a hair cut in the New River Valley.  Three salons offered their hair cutting and other beauty services to charity in support of  Shear Elegance Salon of Floyd raised $3,224.20. 

Stacy Thompson, owner of Shear Elegance Salon, along with Brenda Allen, Jennifer Hollandsworth and Doris Wood cut hair for 45 customers. 

In addition to hair cuts, the Salon offered breakfast, lunch and lots of baked goods.  Raffle tickets were also sold.  Starlight DJ provided back ground music.  "I appreciate all the help I received in raising this money.  Thank you for the food, donations, prayers, support, passing the word, receiving haircuts and waxing, etc." said Stacy.  It was truly a great day!   

The other salons raised $480.

February 20, 2007
Letter Writing Campaign Pays Off

Nurserymen & Landscape Association Make Donations for Joshua & Chance

A group of 31 members of the Virginia Nurserymen & Landscape Association (VNLA) have donated a total of $4,014 for Joshua Cantrell and Chance Harman.  This is the result from a letter-writing campaign by Shirley Phillips.   She was in Baltimore where her husband, Doug, and son, David, were working at the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show, and she began to look through the M.A.N.T.S. membership book.  While she was reading all the different names of the companies, she kept thinking about little Joshua and Chance who had just been diagnosed with the tumors.  Shirley recognized a lot of the names and she kept thinking about how kind-hearted these people were so she asked Doug and David what they thought about her sending a letter to these people about fund-raising for the boys.  They both agreed that it would be good.  Doug also discussed the idea with another gentleman in the nursery business who agreed that he thought it would be okay.  She then began to work on the letter.  In that letter, she wrote about the children, their families and this tragic illness that both boys had recently been diagnosed with.  An explanation was given about the Medical Charities of Floyd County and a special request was made for each person to please pray for the boys and their families, and also encouraged everyone to visit the website to read the updates about Joshua and Chance.  The response from these kind-hearted people has been over-whelming.  Donations came from Riner, Radford, Salem, Floyd, Lynchburg, South Hill, Lorton, Hayes, Virginia Beach, Dillwyn, Chesapeake, Spout Springs, Glen Allen, Piney River, Boones Mill, Oak Grove, Weyers Cave, Williamsburg, Ordinary, Staunton, Hampton, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Forest, Exmore, Petersburg, Wilson (NC), and Havana (FL).  There have been a lot of really nice letters/notes sent with the donations.  Nearly all the notes stated that they were praying for Joshua and Chance.  One man in Florida wrote that he and all his employees were praying for the children.  Doug saw him at another trade show and he asked about both boys.  He told Doug to keep him up-dated and that they were all still praying for them.  Several people wrote a note thanking Shirley for contacting them.  One lady wrote that her donation was not much “but if everyone gave a little, it would soon make a lot!”  Another man wrote that he certainly knew about the financial and emotional part of a child being sick because he had a daughter who was diagnosed with C.P. 27 years ago.  Another family wrote that they felt blessed they could contribute for these two boys.  Yet another said to let him know if there was anything else they could do to help.  There have been two companies who not only sent a donation from their company but also sent one from their personal accounts.  A copy of these notes will be sent to both the Cantrell and Harman families along with a list of all the nurserymen who donated to this cause!  Shirley hopes that more donations will come in from the nurserymen and as they do the checks will be taken directly to Medical Charities.

February 12, 2007

Local schools show support through fundraiser
Thursday, February 08, 2007

Auburn High School and Eastern Montgomery High School recently showed enormous school and community spirit by raising approximately $8,000 for two Floyd High School coaches whose sons both have a rare form of cancer. Auburn High School raised $3,000 through a portion of gate and concession receipts along with donations at the Auburn High School/Floyd High School basketball game. Eastern Montgomery High School raised $5,000 from a benefit raffle, donations, and a portion of concession proceeds at the Eastern Montgomery High School/Floyd High School basketball game. According to the school principals, support was phenomenal. Other Three Rivers Districts teams also raised funds for the families.

February 9, 2007
Boys Varsity Basketball Team Win 55-51 in OT

Boy's Win For Their Coach!
Pat Vaughn
February 9, 2007

After a day in Roanoke, taking his son Chance to visit with the Grave Digger, his favorite monster truck, Coach Brian Harman thought the day couldn't get any better.  Little did he know that his boy's would beat Eastern Montgomery HS in overtime with him on the bench.  Timmy Harris scored the shot to take them into overtime and ultimately win the game.  After the game, the team signed the winning basketball and sent it to Chance.  Chance and his Mom, Desirae, stayed home to rest after such a busy day.   Brian joined his Dad, Allen Harman, for dinner at the Blue Ridge Restaurant in Floyd.  When they went to leave, they were told that someone from Eastern Montgomery paid their check anonymously.  Brian and Allen want to take a moment hear to say, "Thankyou for our dinner!"  Brian also wants to thank everyone for their support of the Seniors last evening.  It meant so much to him and the team.

February 9, 2007
Chance Meets Grave Digger

Harman Family Invited To Meet Grave Digger
Pat Vaughn
February 9, 2007

The Harman's received an invitation this week that they could not resist.  As you probably know, from the website, Chance is a huge Monster Truck fan.  His favorite truck is known as The Grave Digger.  Through the efforts of Jeff Dalton, of the F loyd County Sheriff's Office, the Harman's made the trip from Duke University Medical Center on Thursday afternoon to meet with the driver's and to see the Monster Trucks that are in Roanoke for this weekends event.   Chance met Grave Digger's driver Randy Brown and Pastrana199's driver Courtney Jolly.  During their visit at Advance Auto Parts headquarters in Roanoke, Chance was greeted as their number one fan.  He was allowed to sit in both Monster Trucks, with his Dad of course, to smile and wave for the camera.  Brian Harman, Chance's father, told us he was all smiles.  By the end of the day and the return to Durham, he was very tired, but the look on his face when he got to sit in the Grave Digger let them know they had made the right decision.   Special thanks to Nana Harman for the pictures.   Check out Chance's Photo Album for all the photo's and a special video.   For more information on the event for this weekend and driver Courtney Jolly, check out The Roanoke Times

February 6, 2007
Slaughter's Weekend Events a HUGE success!

Success for three ladies!
Pat Vaughn

Last weekend proved to be a great success and blessing for three ladies in Floyd.  Shirley Phillips, Joyce Slaughter and Margaret Harris set out to raise as much money as they could for three very special children.  Chance Harman and Joshua Cantrell are two children from Floyd County suffering with brain tumors.  Karlie Nichols is another child from Floyd County who is beginning her struggle with Cystic Fibrosis.  Her Grandmother, Margaret Harris, sold 243 hotdogs on Saturday, which was 143 more than she originally prepared.  Joyce Slaughter held an indoor yardsale and Shirley Phillips sold plenty of baked goods.  All together, the ladies raised more than $1,500 for these kids.   What a great success and blessing for all!

Update!  New total = $2,287.59.


February 5, 2007
Support floods in for boys' treatment

Support floods in for boys' treatment
Fundraisers for Chance Harman and Joshua Cantrell have generated thousands of dollars.

By Jared Turner

Days before Joshua Cantrell and Chance Harman were admitted to Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center, a community rallied behind them with a candlelight vigil at Floyd County High School.

Almost a month into what figures to be a lengthy hospital stay for the two boys fighting malignant brain tumors, the flames of support burn just as strongly.

As the 3-year-old grandson of Floyd County High School girls' basketball coach Alan Cantrell and the 4-year-old son of Buffaloes boys' basketball coach Brian Harman undergo regular radiation and chemotherapy treatment, a steady stream of donations, fundraisers and get-well wishes continue to pour in from inside and outside Floyd County.

Brian Harman has been contacted by strangers and supporters as far away as West Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina wanting to help.

"I just don't know how to thank everybody," said the coach, who took a leave of absence from the bench in mid-December when Chance fell ill. "It just keeps going and going and going. We just don't know what to say or how to say it, really."

A volleyball tournament and barbecue dinner at Floyd County High School last weekend raised $26,000.

More than 2,000 "Sharing Hope" bracelets sold at various businesses and schools in Floyd and Montgomery counties have yielded more than $8,000.

Altogether, more than $45,000 has come in since December -- when Chance and Joshua were diagnosed less than two weeks apart.

The money will go toward medical expenses and family needs.

"You can't thank everybody," Alan Cantrell said. "There's so many people. If you start thanking a few, you're going to leave out hundreds."

Visitors to, a Web site launched Jan. 11 with daily updates and ways to donate, have been in the thousands.

The site received 18,805 hits last month including 1,000 during its three-day construction period. It has had more than 215,000 page views.

Upcoming fundraisers posted on the site extend through May.

"Do we see a slowdown? No," said Pat Vaughn, one of the site's organizers. "Our goal as teammates at is to keep this out in front of people because this is a long battle."

The social networking Web site features a group, Sharing Hope for Chance and Joshua, that had 290 members as of late Saturday.

The group's founder, Roanoke College freshman Dustin Hollandsworth, played under Harman last year at Floyd County.

"I figured this was my way of giving back to them," Hollandsworth said. "Chance is like a little brother to me that I never had."

Chance underwent a second operation Jan. 17 that surgeons believe removed 70 percent of the larger of two brain tumors. Physicians are hopeful that the smaller brain tumor and two more on his spine can be treated by radiation without surgery.

Chance received his first of 30 scheduled radiation treatments Thursday.

"The thing that scared me the most is we're starting something that's going to either take care of it or it's not," Brian Harman said. "You're excited about starting it because you're ready to take care of this, but you also have that worry in the back of your mind that you hope it does take care of it."

After 10 straight days at the hospital, the Harmans went home to Floyd on Friday. Brian and his wife, Desirae, along with Joshua's parents, Travis and Laura Cantrell, have rented an apartment in the same Durham, N.C., complex, two miles from Duke Medical Center.

The Harmans returned to Durham on Sunday night for Chance to resume treatments today.

"One day home is better than none, I know that," Brian Harman said. "We are just glad to get back home every chance we can get. ... The best view of Duke is in my rearview mirror right now."

Joshua, who has had two shunt surgeries to stop fluid buildup on his brain, moved into an intensive care unit Jan. 25 after not responding well to radiation. Wednesday, the day after his latest surgery, Joshua was transferred from ICU into a room and taken off a ventilator.

"Baby steps at this point are good," Laura Cantrell said.

February 4, 2007
Winning for the boys!

Pat Vaughn

On Saturday, February 3rd, Tazewell played Carroll County in basketball.   Bill Mitchell, from Tazewell, reported, "As for the score, Carroll County won -- so for us Tazewell fans that wasn't so great.   (But) yesterday's event went well. We raised $381.00 and there are several local businessmen who have stated that they will be sending in monies for this cause from their company. We made flyers about Chance and Joshua and handed them out to everyone as well. Many individuals stated that they would be following the boys' progress on the web site. We mailed a check last night and we are planning on doing something else in the near future."

Every event is exciting and the families appreciate these efforts more than they will ever be able to say.  We think both Tazewell and Carroll counties are winners!


February 2, 2007
Basketballs and prayers launched daily in Floyd
January 31, 2007
Basketballs and prayers launched daily in Floyd

Alan Cantrell and the Floyd Co. girls' team workout in their home gym

The Floyd community knows all about winning basketball games, but these days the folks in the county are more concerned with winning a couple of battles for two young boys.  Joshua Cantrell and Chance Harman are fighting to survive rare brain tumors and they need the prayers of basketball fans everywhere.

February 2, 2007
Support continues for two Floyd County boys with rare brain cancer

January 27, 2007
Support continues for two Floyd County boys with rare brain cancer

Joshua Cantrell

Chance Harman

The community continues to show love and support for two Floyd County boys fighting a rare brain cancer.

Friday night, a barbeque dinner was held at Floyd County High School for Joshua Cantrell and Chance Harman. Organizers say they served about 1,400 people and raised more than $16,000 for the two families. The money will help with medical expenses and family needs.

Organizers say this dinner was not the last. More events to help the families will be held in the future. Saturday alone, a volleyball tournament and spaghetti supper raise even more funds to help the Cantrells and Harmons.

Supporters have created a web page to list upcoming events and information on how to help the families. Click here for the link .

c/o CW Harman & Son, 2894 Floyd Hwy S, Floyd, VA 24091 •
© Copyright 2007