In our classroom we have been reading and discussing what we think the true spirit of the “Winter” holidays are. The students and I have agreed that family and faith are the most important and that giving is indeed better than receiving. After much discussion we started talking about what we could do to give back to others this holiday season. One of my students suggested doing something for kids who are sick and in hospitals during the holidays. So I told my students my story with my son and they all agreed that we should do the toy drive in our class. We also discussed how else we could help those kids and we came up with the idea of raising funds to donate to Saint Jude’s to use for cancer research.
In short I am going to tell you my story and share with you all the ideas we came up with to make the above possible. Our class wishes to thank all of those in advance that will help make this short project a success for all children.
A few years ago my two year old son Jesse was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma (cancer of the muscle tissue). My family and I learned a lot about the life of cancer patients and their families. We had great doctors and nurses at Texas Oncology and got to know the caring staff so well. Children with cancer make weekly doctor visits that are never filled with much fun. They always result in pokes, pulling of skin, and sometimes the dreaded unplanned hospital stay. The staff did everything they could to make the patients happy and comfortable. They often gave stuffed animals to the kids after unpleasant visits or before being admitted for treatment. On one such visit, the doctor came in and offered Jesse a stuffed animal. Jesse looked at the doctor and said, “Doctor Goldman, I am a little boy and I like cars. Do you have any cars?” Doctor Goldman went to look and returned with the response,” I am sorry Jesse, but we do not have any cars.” Jesse responded “well you need to get some.”
My husband told this story to the students in his class and one boy said, “We need to get some cars for the doctor to give to the boys.” Then one girl asked, “What about the little girls? Some don’t play with cars.” The students then decided the girls should get some Barbie Dolls for the girl patients. Long story short the students started bringing in Hot Wheels and Barbies for the kids at the Texas Oncology office and thus Hot Wheels and Barbies were born in honor of my son, Jesse Mooney.
Then on March 11, 2008, Jesse went to the doctor for the final time. We were admitted and told that the cancer had consumed one of his lungs and that the other was partially covered. Jesse never regained consciousness after he came out of surgery. Samantha came to visit him on March 12. She held Jesse’s hand and gave it a kiss before she left. Dillon came and placed a car Jesse had given him beside Jesse and told me that it needed to go with Jesse to heaven. On Jesse’s final evening, March 13, he was surrounded by family and friends while his favorite movie, Cars, played in the background.
You see those small tokens; Hot Wheels and Barbies help provide those bits of happiness needed to help those that have cancer live the daily fight. My class and I wish to thank all of those who participate in this toy drive that helps keep Jesse’s memory alive.
After Jesse’s passing and through those years of exhaustive research
we found that his type of cancer was not widely researched and studied. Saint Jude’s was the only place that was beginning to study his type of cancer and was trying to develop new treatment plans. So my family and I began to donate every year to their foundation in our son’s name so that maybe one day those children will have a fighting chance for survival.
In short our class has pledged to at least bring in one Hot Wheel or Barbie or both by Friday the 16th to donate to the doctor’s office. We are also collecting pledges to donate to Saint Jude’s on December 16th. Your child will have an envelope in which you will need to help them write the person’s name who wants to donate and how much they are willing to donate to the foundation. Then on December 14th our class will participate in an 8 min. marathon of solving addition and subtraction math facts. After that each child will bring home the number of problems completed and collect their pledges and turn them in to me on Friday December 16th and we will donate our pledges to Saint Jude’s. It is important to remember that you can pledge a flat donation or an amount per completed problem.
Many thanks and please let me know if you have any questions,
Mrs. Mooney and Class
Rueben Johnson Elementary
Attn:Mrs. Mooney 2nd Grade Class
3400 Ash Lane
McKinney, Tx. 75070
If even it does not make it to them by the 16th. It's ok. They will make sure that it gets to the kids.
If you would like to donate financially. Please contact Mrs. Mooney directly for more information, firstname.lastname@example.org .
Thank you for helping us keep little Jesse's memory alive.