I mentioned yesterday in my blog post that I was going to have an incredible opportunity to share with you all today. Well, let me start by saying that teachers are some of the hardest working, most giving, most loving and selfless people on the face of this Earth. I have seen teachers use any means possible to help a child in need. That's one of the things I love most about teaching, blogging and sharing on Teachers Pay Teachers. Everyone is so supportive of each other and in the end it's all about making us stronger teachers to better serve our children.
A few months ago I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed and came across a post by a friend I knew way back in the day. His name is J.C. We met in 7th grade at Heritage Middle School in Colleyville, Texas. I moved from Colleyville at the end of 7th grade and haven't spoken to J.C. since but he's one of my Facebook friends so I get his updates. As I was reading an update I wanted to burst into tears. It turns out that J.C. also has a son named Jackson who was born only 9 days after my son. J.C. and his family have had some really rough times as of late. Their baby boy was diagnosed with a Wilms tumor which is a rare kidney cancer that affects young children.
I kept getting updates from J.C. and saw photos of him playing with his son during the hospital stays. He would post happy go lucky photos of Jackson reading in the hospital bed and photos of them making the very best of their situation. Never once did I read a post that was anything but positive. I was amazed at the attitude J.C. and his family had during this difficult time. They are all about staying positive and being there for their sweet baby boy.
Here's some background information that J.C. shared with me:
"Jackson was born on September 30th, 2012 in Cincinnati, OH. Since his birth Jackson hasn't had the easiest road to growing up. At 6 weeks of age the doctors found that he was allergic to breast milk and needed to be placed on a special formula, and he was most likely colic.
At 5 months Jackson spent a week in the hospital for a stomach flu and still had persistent vomiting for some time after. Despite his setbacks he still enjoyed playing with his buddy Charlie, our dog.
In November 2013 Jackson was back at the hospital for vomiting and they thought he had a viral or bacterial infection because of his white blood count levels.
On December 14th, 2013 we noticed a large mass protruding from Jackson's side and headed to the emergency room. The next day Jackson was beloved to have a Wilms tumor, but wouldn't be confirmed until more tests were completed.
Jackson completed 6 weeks of chemotherapy before having his kidney and an 8 inch tumor removed on February 6th. A week and a few days after his surgery he began having stomach issues and had an unscheduled surgery to fix a bowel obstruction.
Jackson started radiation on February 26th and completed his last treatment on March 7th. He has been incredibly strong through each phase and we are in awe of his ability to stay playful despite each setback he encounters.
He has a long road of chemotherapy ahead of him and his last treatment will be August 11th. We know he will do great with what's in store the next 5 months and we are appreciative of all the support we've seen from our friends and family."
I still tear up when I think about how frightened they might be. When you have a child your whole life changes. No parent wants their child to cry, get hurt or even be sad. As a parent you would do anything to keep your child safe and out of harm's way. This must be such a hard time for J.C. and his wife. I cannot even fathom the emotions they are going through at this time.
On top of watching their baby go through chemotherapy there must be stress from the medical bills that are piling up. We all know that even with great health insurance, this sort of treatment is going to cost quite a bit of money. As I was reading his updates I kept thinking I wanted to help them. I would send him positive messages and like his status updates, but that's really not going to cut it for me. I'm a teacher after all, we LOVE children and would do anything to help a child in need.
So I thought of starting a fundraiser for this little guy and his family. As of today I'm in the organizing process. My hope is to get as many teacher-blogger friends to contribute one product to an amazing bundle of resources for primary teachers. We've all seen some amazing fundraisers on Teacher's Pay Teachers and they are total win-wins for everyone. Buyers get amazing resources from several authors at an amazing price and sellers get to help a child in need and have their stores promoted.
Friends, if you are interested in donating an item to Jackson's bundle please let me know ASAP. I'm hoping to have everyone's product information in by Friday so I can get the bundle together, give y'all a button to share on your blog and get this fundraiser going on TpT. If you are not a TpT seller but you want to help with this great cause, be on the lookout for another post from me that will provide you a link to buy this amazing bundle and help out this family in such a difficult time.
You are all amazing people and I cannot wait to see what we can do for Jackson and his family! This fundraiser can do so much to help ease the stress of this situation for this amazing family. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or if you're a blogger who would like to participate in this bundle. Thank you all and may God bless this sweet little boy.