A 24-hour rowing competition in Los Angeles collected money for a good cause: assisting children with cancer.
Deputy Aaron Scheller of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is interested in the case since his daughter was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 2 1/2 and has now been cancer-free for three years.
“There’s nothing you can do if you’re dealing with cancer and fighting cancer and you’re sitting there, your daughter is in bed, and you’re sitting on the side,” Scheller told reporters. “So the ‘joy jar’ brings things into your room for you to enjoy while you’re going through cancer,” she continued.
For the kid fighting cancer, the “joy jars” are packed with toys and activities. The Jessie Rees Foundation came up with the concept. Jessie, who died of cancer as a kid, had a desire to assist cancer-stricken families.
“Seeing these people sacrifice their bodies, raise money to help more children, never give up, which is our foundation’s mission, is very, very special to me as Jessie’s father, and I’m so honored to participate in it,” said Erik Rees, CEO of the Jessie Rees Foundation.
Five teams rowed nonstop for 24 hours. The LA County Sheriff’s Department, the West Covina Fire Department, local CrossFit teams, and others sent teams. They have raised almost $40,000 for pediatric cancer sufferers in total.
Sgt. Kamal Ahmed of the LASD told ABC News that “there is no greater cause than helping children with cancer, and to contribute to that… that just motivates me to come here with my team and raise money for them.”
“Our motto was ‘NEGU,’ which stands for ‘never ever give up.’ And my daughter is healthy now, and we hope she remains that way, but that is not the case for every child,” Scheller shared. “As a result, it’s an opportunity for us to give back a little bit of hospital life that they wouldn’t have otherwise.”
What an inspiring story. If you have been involved in a recent fundraising challenge, do let me know!
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