New space at ProMedica Ebeid Children’s Hospital in memory of local boy who died of brain cancer

Jack Fineske died in 2015 at the age of 11.
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 6:34 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Nearly 10,000 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer this year, according to the American Cancer Society, and a local family who lost a young son to the disease is working to help others going through a cancer diagnosis.

Turning grief and heartbreak into action, that’s what Jack Fineske’s family has done.

Catching Up With Jack is a charitable organization honoring Jack’s memory and it’s changing lives on a number of levels. Jack was diagnosed with brain cancer just days before his sixth birthday. He lost his fight against the disease in 2015 at the age of 11.

“We feel like in Jack’s name, we’ve been able to affect a lot of people,” said Brady Fineske, Jack’s father. “In telling his story about how he handled adversity is an example we want to set and a legacy we want to continue.”

They’re doing that through the charitable organization, Catching Up With Jack.

“It’s really become a way for us to turn our pain into purpose, to help other families,” said Brady Fineske.

In the years since his death, Jack’s family has worked to help find a cure for pediatric cancer by funding research. They’ve also focused on helping local families.

“Part of the dollars we raise go to help local families financially. We help with certain treatments they might now be able to afford otherwise,” said Brady Fineske. “Also, we’re there as a resource. As a parent and dad who has gone through it, we are there to answer questions.”

Jack spent several weeks at ProMedica Ebeid Children’s Hospital after being diagnosed. It’s a place his family continues to give back to. As they traveled to other hospitals during Jack’s treatment, the Fineske’s saw resource rooms and worked to create one.

“There just wasn’t a place where we could get away for work, or a place to make calls or to cry or even talk about hard decisions,” said Brady Fineske. “We wanted to be close to Jack in his room. When we started to go to different hospitals around the country, they all had this type of room. This is special to us because something we’ve wanted to do for a long time.”

Catching Up With Jack has also donated Kindles for kids to use during their time at the hospital.

“When they need to be here for hours, days, weeks at a time, it gives them a chance to go back to being a child, to read a book, to watch a show or play a game,” said Dr. Jamie Dargart, a pediatric hematology-oncology physician at the hospital.

It’s a simple and powerful way to impact so many lives.

Catching Up With Jack is hosting a Christmas concert next month with Matthew West. It’s being held on Dec. 5 at Cedar Creek Church in Perrysburg. If you’d like to learn more about the event or the organization, click here.

The organization has raised nearly $1 million to help find a cure for pediatric cancer. More than 20 local families have also been helped.

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