Jasper's Journey

OREANA, Ill. (WAND) -- The Going for Gold Childhood Cancer Festival fund raised this weekend with a loud message: Worth more than four.

"For kids to only get four percent of that funding is not right, we're gonna change that," Dustin Guntle, President of Small Town Living (a local non-profit) said.

"If we have to put on events like this to bump it up to five percent then that's what we're gonna do -- even a half percent. We're going to do anything we can do to raise money for these children and be their voice," Tommy Swafford of Jasper's Journey said.

The Swafford family teamed up with the non-profit to raise money that will be sent to St. Louis Children's Hospital. The event was inspired from the passing of Tommy's son Jasper, who died this past March from Leukemia at the age of 1.

"We just wanted to do something to make our son proud and do him right," Swafford said.

 "This is all about the Swafford's and Jasper -- just to keep going with the family -- they have a vision, we have a vision of community and we're gonna honor Jasper right," Guntle said.

At the fundraiser, dozens of people signed up to donate blood to The American Red Cross.

"At some point's in Jasper's treatment - he was getting blood products 4 times a day and he had to have them to keep them going. The chemotherapy just eats it up your blood products," Swafford said.

Cancer took the life of the Swafford's baby boy and they have seen the same fate happen to too many families. The fundraiser was the first of what will be many efforts to change that.

"The 5K t-shirts have 76 name son the back of them -- only 1 of them children is living -- that's 75 families that had to put on a funeral for their baby - that had to hear there was nothing more we could do," Swafford said.

All money donated to Jasper's Journey goes towards Childhood Cancer research. You can support their mission by clicking here.

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