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New Stanton VFD hosts fundraiser for Johnsons

Barry Reeger I Tribune-Review
Addison and Ryan Johnson hold their children (from left) Riley, Alivia, Payton and Ayden in their home in Hempfield last November in this file photo. A fundraiser for the family will be held in New Stanton on April 13.

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Thursday, March 14, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

Event sponsors and auction items are being collected by The Friends of the Johnson Family as they plan the second annual Benefit for the Johnson Angels, a dinner and auction to raise funds for the children of Ryan and Addison Johnson of Hempfield.

The young couple has four children with ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T), a rare, incurable, devastating, progressive disease.

The fundraiser will be held at the New Stanton Volunteer Fire Hall at 108 S. Main St. in the borough from 6 to 10 p.m. on April 13.

Tickets are $10 before the dinner and $15 at the door.

To purchase tickets, call Addison Johnson at 724-422-7744 or email

Ticket purchases and donations for the Benefit for the Johnson Angels should be made out to the Johnson Angels at First Commonwealth Bank, Mail Teller, P.O. Box 400, Indiana, PA 15701.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will help the Johnsons build a fund to purchase a $25,000 wheelchair platform for their stairs. Half of the funds raised will be donated to the A-T Children's Project for research into the cause and cure for the disease.

Guests will enjoy a spaghetti dinner while participating in raffles and live auctions.

Entertainment for the evening features local band Hamilton Avenue, who will sing "Hard Life," written by Joe Kindregan, an A-T victim. The song was made famous by country singer Brad Paisley.

Fans can follow the developments of the event on Facebook by clicking here.

A-T is a progressive, degenerative disease that attacks many systems of the body.

The four Johnson children - 4-year-old Ayden and his 2-year-old triplet sisters - Alivia, Payton and Riley - will probably die by their teens or early 20s. Most A-T children depend on wheelchairs by age 10 because they cannot control their muscles.

A-T attacks the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls muscles. The Johnson children are already having difficulty standing, walking and holding their heads up.

The Johnson family is one of two families known in the world with four children suffering from the disorder.

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