Local family turns their pain into purpose after losing their 11-year-old son to cancer
Jack Fineske died in 2015 of a brain tumor and a charitable fund in his memory has raised more than $750,000.
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - More than 10,000 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer this year. That’s according to the American Cancer Society. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and one local family has turned their pain into purpose.
Jack Fineske was just 11 years old when he lost his fight against cancer. In the years since his death, Jack’s family has worked to help find a cure for pediatric cancer. They’ve also focused on helping other local families facing the same struggles they went through.
“He was the oldest of 17 grandkids and cousins. He was witty. He was the one always entertaining us. He was athletic, loved sports, and he was just a lot of fun to be around,” said Jack’s father Brady Fineske.
In 2015, Jack lost his fight against medulloblastoma, the most common kind of cancerous brain tumor in children.
“He’d wake up and get sick and then be fine the rest of the day. He was diagnosed just before his sixth birthday. He battled it at hospitals throughout the country, and after a five-year fight, we lost Jack at the age of 11,” Brady said.
Jack’s family and their friends have turned their grief into action through the Catching Up With Jack Charitable Fund.
“We were so well taken care of during our battle, we wanted to create an organization that allowed the community to band together as they did for us and help other families,” Brady said.
The main goal is to be part of cutting-edge research that one day leads to a cure. “The funding for pediatric cancer is minimal. In fact, some of the treatments today are the same treatments used in 1980. We have to change that,” Brady said.
Brady said so far they’ve raised about $750,000. “One of the therapies we funded through research and our partnership with the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation was named the breakthrough therapy of the year, that is incredible. We may have expected that after ten years, but not only after five years. It’s now being used to help cure kids, and it’s working.”
The charity also helps local children with cancer and their families.
“We’re getting calls from families who don’t know what hospital to go to or what questions to ask the doctor. It’s one thing to help financially, but another to help them understand because we’ve been there. If we can help others and make a difference we want to do that so other families that go through this get a different outcome than we did,” Brady said.
There’s a concert on October 3rd to benefit Catching Up With Jack by raising money and awareness. The show will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Cedar CreekChurch in Perrysburg. The concert features the Christian band Unspoken. Tickets are still available.
If you’d like to learn more about tickets, donating, or getting help from Catching Up With Jack, click here.
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