On March 11, 2016 I'll be embarking on the toughest running race of my life The 6633 Ultra. (www.6633ultra.com). I'll be running 350 miles from Great Plains, Yukon in Canada, to the Arctic Ocean where the temps will be well below zero. I'm taking on this challenge in the hope of shining a spotlight on a much greater challenge, and to motivate and inspire others to help.
What I'm doing is NOTHING compared to what a brave little boy named Jack Rollins is fighting. While I CHOOSE to take on tough challenges, our little Superhero Jack has no choice. Since the age of 2, he's been bravely battling Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma Cancer. Jack also has an amplified gene, which makes an already terribly aggressive cancer, even MORE aggressive. While other healthy children his age are doing things that all kids do, Jack has been in and out of hospitals for more than half his life. Neuroblastoma is very aggressive and needs extensive and invasive treatments. He's undergone many chemo treatments, many rounds of radiation, multiple Broviac placement surgeries, multiple bone marrow aspirations, numerous blood transfusions, tons of scans, colonoscopies, many hours of surgeries, many stem cell retrievals, multiple rounds of immunotherapy treatments, a fractured leg, nerve damage resulting in permanent "drop foot", many biopsies, and too many hospital stays to count---some weeks long, and some months long at WVU Children's Hospital in West Virginia and some at Sloan-Kettering in New York. Now, poor little Jack has relapsed again, and after not responding to his latest treatment, his parents have rushed him to Helen Devos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
All this time, his loving parents have provided all the love and support they can muster. His mother, Brooke, has taken a leave of absence from working at a lab in a local hospital in order to be by Jack's side 24/7 and be his constant caregiver. His dad works out of state as a Police Captain for the Dept of Defense and has also had to take leaves from work for as much as a month at a time. But in order to maintain their insurance, he still has to be away from home for extended times. They are good, hardworking people who, while losing much of their regular income to be with Jack and care for him, must still maintain their normal bills like we all do---mortgage, car insurance, utilities, food...all the while paying for extra expenditures due to his illness like extended stays in NY during Jack's treatments there (and now Michigan), food and gas for transportation back and forth. Their insurance still doesn't cover a lot of what Jack needs on a daily basis and even their constant co-pays are placing a heavy burden on them, financially.
These folks are proud people and don't want to ask for money, and in fact, haven't. Their friends and family have tried to help them by selling t-shirts and bracelets and setting up a donation page for them. They have only asked for prayers for their little boy. So many people have been so generous with trying to help and they are so appreciative of everything. I reached out to them on my own, after learning of Ryan's story soon after I was blessed enough to being able to help raise a lot of money for another young man named Ryan Diviney. I felt the pull to now try and help Jack, and hope that others will now, also.
Once again, I have enlisted help from the generous folks at the non-profit Vital Pathways to be my fiscal sponosr, and of course my friends at FirstGiving, in order to provide a fully tax deductible avenue for people to make donations. When you give to sites like Gofundme, you're donations are not tax deductible. FirstGiving ONLY works with non-profits. If you choose to make them through here, your donation is tax deductible. If you wish to totally avoid the small fees associated with all on-line donations, you can still write a check. PLEASE do not write a check to me, but to:
Checks can also be mailed:
TEAM JACK TRUST FUND
c/o Brooke and Ryan Rollins
6011A N 4th St.
Arlington, Va 22203
Jack's parents have had to mentally endure the torture, worry, and helplessness while trying to care for their child. They have so much to worry about, let's try and help by taking just a bit of the financial worry off their chests.
Jack is a precious little boy, and we have NOT, and will NEVER EVER GIVE UP hope! Jack has always fought this battle with bravely, determination, and strength---like a true Superhero. His beautiful smile, warm hugs, and abundance of "I love you's" actually strengthens those around him, too. His parents are good, hard working people who love and would do anything for their son. Let's help them.