Today’s Jay Fund Hero – Tony Stoddard
Mired in grief at the loss of his five year old son who passed away January 20th, 2012 while fighting neuroblatoma, he began helping his wife with a childhood cancer fundraiser. It occurred to this grieving dad, that while it was Childhod Cancer Awareness month, there was no gold to be seen that September.
Nominated by Nancy Marie Whipple, she shared, “Tony Stoddard and I met while both of our sons were fighting neuroblastoma. Sadly, both boys lost their lives (my son Alexander, April 1, 2011, his son, Cole January 20, 2012). Last September Tony picked a day and asked everyone to Wear Gold (or yellow if they didn’t have gold) for Childhood Cancer. His daughter also started a “Coins for Cole” to raise funds for research. They raised over $10,000! After that, Tony made it his mission to get MORE Gold in the country for September. Thanks to his inspiration through his work, and the work of others, several states have agreed to declare September “Childhood Cancer Awareness Month” Several important buildings and sites will be lit up in GOLD!! His Facebook page, reached over 10,000 followers in a year! Even through his grief, he has done great things. He often doesn’t think he is making much of a difference, but he really is!”
Stoddard began using his Facebook page to share stories about his son, Cole. Unfortunately, there are too many parents who could relate to Tony Stoddard. Those parents were thankful to hear from someone else who understood the pain and frustration they felt. Others who were thankful that they never had to suffer through dealing with a child who had cancer wanted to find ways to help increase Childhood Cancer Awareness. Suddenly, “Yellow and Gold for Cole” became his mission. “I was determined that we would never go through another September without the gold of Childhood Cancer Awareness shining everywhere. Without awareness childhood cancer would remain underfunded and ignored, leaving many thousands of children to continue to suffer through antiquated treatments and to have less than the best chance to survive this monster.”
“My humble initial goals for this page soon began to grow. I wanted to see gold each September on town buildings, on the White House, on the fields of the NFL and MLB, on ribbons worn by celebrities, politicians, and media personalities. I wanted to see as much gold in September as we see pink in October! Our children need and deserve this! I was told by many people to prepare for a long fight; that it would take years to accomplish this goal. However I am not a very patient person when it comes to the needs of children. Our kids who are battling cancer do not have the luxury of time. I am determined that we will have a “Golden September” this year! We have accomplished much already but we still have a long way to go. I hope that you all will continue to keep fighting with me and to always share the message that we need more Childhood Cancer Awareness. Please, when you see a post just click share, if everyone does just that we have the ability to reach millions of people. Awareness = Funding = Research = A Cure! There Will Be Gold In September!”
And thanks to your efforts, we’re seeing a lot more GOLD for Childhood Cancer Awareness, Tony Stoddard! You are a Childhood Cancer hero, and we’re proud to honor you, your family, Nancy Marie Whipple, Alexander the Great, and of course Cole Stoddard.