When Ryan Hauser’s son, Jaxson, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancer of immature nerve cells, he was grateful for the outpouring of support from
Toledoans who had never met his family. So when Jaxson passed away in June 2012, Hauser and his family created the Jaxson R. Hauser Foundation to help other families of children with cancer financially and emotionally.
“The community helped us out a ton,” said Hauser. “It was amazing that they came together for us, and we just want to come together for as many other families as possible.”
Jaxson was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, which most commonly occurs in children under the age of 5, when he was six months old. He endured six rounds of chemo, 20 radiation treatments and a stem cell transplant during his 11-month fight with the disease. During that time, Jaxson’s mother Casey Gatewood left her job to care for him, and Hauser picked up a second job to support the family. They spent holidays in the hospital and lived in Cleveland for a month to pursue treatment.
As the treatment continued, the family received funds raised by a car wash to help cover expenses. It was that experience that made Hauser want to give to other families affected by childhood cancer in as many ways as possible.
“I just thought it was something we should do,” says Hauser.
Through Jaxson, Hauser made friends who are now among the first volunteers for the foundation’s fundraising efforts. Hauser’s mother, Jillian Hauser, as well as his sisters, help run it. The foundation, which was started in November 2012, is starting to grow and to raise money and awareness of childhood cancer. They hope to start receiving grants and “adopting” families as soon as possible.
Hauser wants to help fund cancer research, but he
also wants to help families with anything they need, whether that’s financial assistance, meals delivered to the hospital or support groups for siblings. He also wants to raise awareness.
“When Jaxson was diagnosed, I’d never [known] a kid who had cancer. Now I hear about it all of the time. These kids are fighting cancer before they can walk.”
The Jaxson R. Foundation is holding the Riding for the Cure Poker Run on Saturday, June 1 at Diggers Again Bar, 2851 Tremainsville Rd. Registration, which is $15 per person and includes dinner, starts at 10am. Ride starts at 11am. For more information, visit jaxsonsjourney.info.
Family: Girlfriend Casey Gatewood; two dogs, Tilly and Emma
Occupation: Marketer for Erie Construction
Alma mater: Whitmer High School
Favorite Toledo spots: The Glass Bowl, Toledo Museum of Art
Hobbies: Playing poker, being with family, playing video games, working with his foundation
Foundation slogan: Hope and act. Helping open people’s eyes. Awareness changes things.