Mobile, AL (WALA) — A 10-year-old cancer survivor in Mobile is giving back to a local charity.
The Ronald McDonald house of mobile helps families with children who are seriously ill and in hospitals and that was the case for Jayden Blackwell less than two years ago when he was sick.
The Blackwell family says the organization gave them a place to stay, somewhere to wash their clothes, fed them, and provided counseling for them. Now cancer free and fully healed, Jayden says he had to give back to those who gave to them when they needed it most.
For most parents having a sick child is one of their worst nightmares, not to mention that life never stops around you during the process.
“You do not know a pain until you’re watching your child suffer,” said Joy Blackwell, Jayden’s mother. “Watching him suffer is hard. If I had, had to figure out how I was going to pay for food or a hotel room, that would have been too much.”
But when it seems to be too much to handle, sometimes there’s a helping hand waiting to be of support. The Blackwell family says they were there less than 2 years ago. And they found that helping hand in the Ronald McDonald house.
“During when I was in the hospital dealing with Thyroid cancer, my grandparents, my mom and my dad. They treated them so well at the Ronald McDonald house,” said Jayden Blackwell.
“They housed us while we were there. Room and board. Super nice rooms, two queen beds, access to a full stocked kitchen the whole time you’re there. They don’t ask anything of you,” added Joy.
Jayden beat the odds and lives life cancer free now. He helps his mom, Joy make jewelry on the side. When she offered to pay him, he decided to pay it forward. He told her he wanted to donate it to this charity. After collecting all he could, he came up with 500 dollars. “Wednesday was one of the proudest mom moment I’ve ever had. He just selflessly came in and gave away 500 dollars,” Joy said.
Instead of a game console or toy, Jayden made provisions for the organization to house 38 families free of charge for 2 days.
“We didn’t think 500 dollars was that much but when we came in they were like ‘whoa’ and they felt so touched. It really was a heart felt moment,” he said.
The Ronald McDonald house can’t thank them enough.
“That was really special. He sacrificed for us, he did his own fundraiser and that just really puts a smile on our hearts,” said David Zimlich, Weekend manager at Ronald McDonald house.
The giving didn’t stop there. They even brought snacks for the pantry for families. They say they can never give enough to something that gave them so much.
“It’s just immeasurable, there’s no way to even describe what they do for you as a family.its a blessing that you hope others don’t have to have, but its there and its awesome,” explained Joy.
Jayden is challenging other children around his age to raise some money on their own and give to their favorite charity. Ronald McDonald House of Mobile says there are many ways to help. One way is to pick up a box like this and fill it with beverage tabs from canned drinks. Another way is to donate to their Wish List Wednesdays.