‘I’m getting the chance to give back’: Care-A-Thon helps families navigate pediatric cancer finances

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The 8th annual Cox Media Group Care-A-Thon is back, helping local families with extra expenses in their child’s cancer fight.

STORY: Salman Rushdie attacked on stage in New York

The event was presented by Duval Asphalt and took place at Nemours Children’s Hospital. The money raised at this event goes directly to the Child Cancer Fund of Northeast Florida to support the families that the nonprofit serves.

One by one, dedicated volunteers answered calls from generous donors.

STORY: Michelle Branch accused of domestic violence

Jessica Donmoyer is the mother of 6-year-old Lucy.

“I stopped working when she got diagnosed, which happened to be at the beginning of COVID,” Donmoyer said. “They’ve helped take care of our mortgage and car payments. They cover the child life specialist’s salary.”

Lucy was diagnosed with cancer in April 2020 and finished treatment in December. Her cancer recurred in February.

“I’m going to get chemo,” Lucy said.

Lucy showed Action News Jax reporter Kennedy Dendy her pink lipstick and matching nails before heading to treatment.

“I only do it if it makes me feel better,” Lucy said.

STORY: ‘Unauthorized entry’: Kangaroo attempts to break into Russian embassy

Carter Richards is a former Nemours patient and was a beneficiary of the Child Cancer Fund. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, just before his 10th birthday and went through 13 rounds of chemotherapy.

“A cancer diagnosis is a really big deal,” Richards said. “It shocks your whole world.”

Richards has been in remission for about 10 years. He said the Child Cancer Fund is all about “comfort out of discomfort.”

“Now, I’m getting the chance to give back,” Richards said.

STORY: Gunfire erupts between several cars at busy Westside intersection

Dr. Cynthia Gauger with Nemours Children’s Health volunteered her time Friday.

“The Child Cancer Fund has been so supportive of our children,” Gauger said. “We support them from books to Camp Boggy Creek to financial support.”

STORY: Illegal rooftop pool filled with 60 tons of water discovered on Brooklyn building, officials say

Gauger said any and every donation is so important.

“We certainly appreciate it,” Gauger said. “Easy to do. Just pick up the phone and call.”

Last year’s total set a new one-day record of $265,000.

Stay with Action News Jax for this year’s final total.