SPRINGFIELD, Ore. (KMTR) -- While the Rose Bowl game has brought big business for clothing retailers, food vendors and more, the game has also brought a chance for some to give back, including a group of local businesses who took game day to honor one local family that’s fighting cancer.
The Wish Upon Star Foundation with Umpqua Bank, Rent-A-Center and Springfield’s Papa’s Pizza all came together on Monday afternoon to make a Rose Bowl party happen for Javon Simmons of Eugene, a 6-year old who’s battling cancer. The whole party was donated, including the 55-inch flat screen TV to watch the game on.
Back in October 2011, Javon was diagnosed with a “DIPG” brain tumor after he had trouble walking. The tumor is a rare form of children’s cancer that develops on the brain stem. Javon’s DIPG tumor is inoperable. He’s now undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
Javon’s father, Jon Simmons says these moments are important and special.
“Days like today, I'm sure he'll have a great time, he'll have fun, so it's just a lot of, you know, people coming together, and remind him, 'hey, we're here for you, we care for you and that we support you.' So it's just nice to have a community come together and work,” says Jon.
St. Jude’s says only about 30% of children with DIPG tumors survive more than one year.
Javon’s family has vowed to keep fighting though while raising awareness about his condition. The family is continuing to travel back and forth to Memphis as well, for treatment.
The Simmons family is planning a large fundraiser for February. For now, there is a trust fund set up in Javon’s name at Chase Bank and Key Bank branches.