February 26 would be Jackson Panzarello's 15th birthday. Sadly, it is a birthday that he didn't live to experience. He passed away in 2012 when he was just 10 years old after battling glioblastoma multiforme, a rare form of childhood cancer. Before he passed away, Jackson participated in fundraising efforts to benefit Make-A-Wish® in his hometown of Palm Desert.
That's why, in honor of his birthday, I'm hoping you'll support his local Make-A-Wish chapter in the Inland Empire region of California to give a child a glimpse of what life can hold besides medical treatments and worry. I believe that a Make-A-Wish experience can change everything for a child with a life-threatening medical condition.
Please help by contributing any amount you can - $15, $50, $100 or even more. Every dollar helps Make-A-Wish kids renew their courage and find a turning point in their lives. Your tax-deductible gift makes a difference to Make-A-Wish and the thousands of eligible children waiting for their wish experience. Whatever you can give will help - it all adds up to help us exceed $2,400 in honor of his 15th birthday.
Jackson's memory has inspired previous fundraising efforts that have raised $200,000 for childhood cancer research. This particular effort means so much because it directly benefits a charity that he personally supported, and also furthers the wish of a child from his local area.
In his everlasting words: "Thank you, Fight On."
Every day. That's how often I think about Jackson. I think about who he was, and who he should be today. I think about his everlasting legacy on pediatric cancer research. And, more than anything, I wish he was here to see the incredible difference we've made.
Every fundraising effort that I've spearheaded is guided and inspired by his memory and the promise of a research breakthrough.
There's a high school that I pass every day on my way to work. To most drivers on the road, the school is more of a nuisance because it lowers the posted speed limit on the road from 45 miles per hour down to 15 miles per hour until 8:30 a.m. But traveling at that pace for the half-mile distance in front of the school allows for more than a passing glance.
It allows me the chance to see the 9th graders exit the bus and enter the school.I've often thought about Jackson when the scene unfolds as I pass the school. He should be in 9th grade. He should be with his friends after school. He should be preparing for a year-end school dance.
But he isn't doing any of those things because of cancer. By supporting the Make A Wish fundraiser, you will be making an incredible difference in the life of a child -- in Jax's honor.
If you're able, I hope you'll make a donation to further his incredible legacy. Thank you, Fight On.
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