Boy's E-mail Helps Raise Thousands for Cancer Fundraiser

Filed under: In The News

An e-mail from a 9-year-old boy helped raise thousands of dollars in a skate-a-thon fund-raiser for cancer. Dan4th, Flickr

What started as an e-mail plea from a hockey-loving 9-year-old from Rhode Island, grew to thousands of dollars in donations for a cancer fundraiser.

"My name is Jack Dolan. I am nine years old and on February 21 I will be skating for my mom who is sick. I am trying to raise as much money as i can to help get rid of this illness and to help other people who have it,'' the youngster dictated to his dad, who typed the message in an e-mail and distributed it to family and friends.

Initially, Jack Dolan wasn't sure he wanted to join in a two-hour cancer fundraising skate-a-thon organized by Boston Bruins legend Cam Neely. But when his family learned his mom was sick with small cell carcinoma, "a rare form of cancer," the Boston Globe reports, he changed his mind.

So the e-mail went out and the family and others joined in. For eight weeks, Jack and Meaghan, his 7-year-old sister, worked to raise money for the event, bringing in "more than a third" of the total raised from 400 donors. Donations came from "teachers at Kickemuit Middle School, where his mother is a guidance counselor, and firefighters from his father's station to strangers," the Globe reports.

Jack's goal, the newpsper says, was to raise about $2,500. He achieved that goal 10 times over: The family raised $20,000 more than "the next closest participant," the Globe reports, with pledges totaling $26,500.

The Dolans live near the Massachusetts border in a "hockey house," John Dolan, Jack's father, tells the Globe.

"When we first heard about the program, they just wanted to skate and raise money for a good cause. But once they became aware of the cancer, and found out that that's what the foundation was for, they came to me and really wanted to do it. It became true to life, unfortunately way too fast," John Dolan tells the newspaper.

While Jack thought it was fun, his mom, Angie Dolan, writes in an e-mail to the Globe, "My community has been UNBELIEVABLE and I continue to be overwhelmed each day by their generosity. As much as this is a physical battle, it is equally a mental battle and their support is immeasurable.''

"It was never about raising this much money," John Dolan tells the newspaper. "It was about two kids wanting to do something really special for their mother."

The money will "help fund the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center," according to the Globe.

Related: Fight Cancer with These 11 Foods

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.