Jason and Jaelyn’s grandfather was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer last year during the pandemic and his health quickly declined. My son was accustomed to visiting with his grandfather every other week and due to the illness, combined with concern over the spreading COVID virus, visits came to an abrupt stop. Last month, their grandfather passed away as a result of his illness.
Family members of patients with cancer are affected in many different ways. Along with anxiety and fear, children often experience feelings of helplessness. I’ve been open with all of my kids about our Project Money journey as it relates to strengthening our financial situation. Jason can take comfort in knowing that we have been preparing our savings for the expense of potential medical events that may occur.
In discussing charitable options for Jason earlier this year, we thought it would be a good idea to connect the action to his grandfather, so we asked him if any organizations were dear to his heart. He replied with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, which funds research and supports people affected by neuromuscular disease.
Since 1954, firefighters across the country have supported the MDA through fundraising efforts. I contacted a local fire station and they provided information about their annual MDA Fill the Boot fundraiser. Jason was very proud to place his money into the firefighter boot and I was equally proud of him for letting his younger sister share the experience.
One of the top dream jobs for kids is becoming a firefighter, and my eight-year-old son is no exception. It’s my hope that associating his charitable gift to a group of people that my son respects will help foster a deeper meaning and promote future giving. Having this bond with his grandfather will be a great way for Jason to hold onto his memory!