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By Brittni Henderson
There aren’t many things to worry about when you’re in fourth grade. Homework, projects, playdates, sports, and other extra-curricular activities are the mainstays in the lives most elementary school-aged children—but there’s always the exception.
For Jack Mayer, celebrating the fact that he is approaching his 10th year of being cancer-free is the primary focus—and merely acknowledging this milestone wasn’t enough for this ambitious Smithfield boy.
Jack was only six months old when diagnosed with neuroblastoma—a type of cancer that starts in certain very early forms of nerve cells and most commonly occurs in infants and young children. He immediately underwent emergency surgery to remove the baseball-sized tumor in his abdomen. It was a completely surreal and shocking moment for Jack’s family.
During his stay at Hasbro, advocates from The Tomorrow Fund helped his family with necessities like parking, meal vouchers, and checked in with them to ensure that they would be able to cover the costs of his surgery.
Jack remained in Hasbro Children’s Hospital for a week after his surgery and then spent the following months recovering at home. Support from the foundation continued throughout, counting him as one of the more than 2,000 children and their families who have received financial and emotional support through The Tomorrow Fund.
In the years following Jack’s surgery and recovery, the Mayer family remained involved with many of The Tomorrow Fund’s activities held in the area.
“It’s like we’re all family,” Jack’s mother Kelly shared.
Now that Jack is approaching his ten year anniversary of being cancer free, he wants to give back to the foundation that helped him. His “Jack Mayer’s 10-4-10” campaign goal is to raise $10,000 for The Tomorrow Fund to honor this milestone in his young life—and he’s not very far from achieving this.
When he first approached his parents with this idea last year, he already had some groundwork laid out to make sure they could start raising money immediately.
“When can we go buy some lemonade?” he asked almost simultaneously after coming up with his plan.
Selling lemonade was just the beginning. Jack and his family have since organized a Polar Plunge, a gourmet apple sale, a Pokémon tournament, a Foxwoods bus trip, and a Paint & Vino event. Most recently, his family participated in the Tomorrow Fund Stroll at Garden City Cranston. To date, all of Jack’s planned fundraising initiatives have raised about $8,000 towards his goal.
In July, the family will be celebrating the actual 10-year anniversary date of Jack’s clean bill of health by hosting an open house cookout at their home at 25 Factory Pond Circle and hope to raise the remaining funds to reach Jack’s goal.
Jack’s experience puts a lot into perspective for the Mayer family and has molded him into a very generous and thoughtful young boy. Every dollar he’s collected from birthdays, chores, and other gifts have gone directly to his fundraising efforts. He’s constantly thinking of new ways to raise money and is very passionate about this cause.
Although Jack is very focused on achieving his goal, he still has time for typical fourth grader things. He is a Black Belt in karate, plays soccer, and excels in Math. His personality is warm, welcoming, and outgoing. Simply being in his presence is inspirational. Jack indeed exudes a confidence that is contagious and the future for this intelligent young man is bright!
To follow along with Jack’s $10,000 fundraising campaign, join “Jack Mayer’s 10-4-10” Facebook Group. If you would like to make a direct donation in his honor, please visit www.tomorrowfund.org/donate and note that your gift is “In honor of Jack Mayer” so it counts toward his $10,000 goal.