It was January 2019 that Children’s Medical Center became Whitesboro’s Jacob Pletan’s “new far-away home” after being diagnosed with lymphoma at the age of 15. As he wrote this past February, “I have had around $3 million dollars of medical treatment to take care of me. And yet, unlike a celebrity spending $3 million, not much was gotten nor is noticeable with this expenditure. The only thing it was spent on was to keep the status quo the same… to keep me living.”
Today Jacob returned to his “far-away home” for the first time as a visitor to be part of a celebration — the Children’s Cancer Fund check presentation of $1.3 M raised via the 2022 Children’s Cancer Fund Gala chaired by Amanda Dillard Shufeldt.
And Jacob, who had been one of the young models at the fundraiser, was not the only one playing Santa Claus in the Children’s atrium. He was joined by David Martin, whose daughter Izzy Martin is battling osteosarcoma, as well as Children’s Cancer Fund Executive Director Jennifer Arthur and Event Manager Jen Strong and their CCF family including past Executive Board President Ryan Newberry, current Executive Board President Barry Pennett and Board Director Sadie Storey.
On hand to literally receive the check were Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher, Dr. Patrick Leavey, Dr. Matt Campbell, Brooke Russo, Alex Seabrook and Jaime Dietzen with her therapy dog Canter.
According to Brent, “Children’s Cancer Fund is a long-time supporter of cancer care and research at Children’s Health, and we’re grateful for an extremely generous donation this year. The support of Children’s Cancer Fund helps us to continue meeting the current needs of our patients as they battle cancer, while also funding groundbreaking research that will bring hope to kids and families in the future. What better way is there to help make life better for children?”
The funds will go to “supporting key areas within Children’s Health, including the Plano Program Expansion, Child Life team, Dr. Campbell’s clinical trial/research project, a Junior Faculty position, endowment’s supporting Child Life, Pet Therapy and Research and additional research projects” to help youngsters like Jacob and Izzy to keep the status quo the same.