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Facebook group raises $35k for 11-year-old boy diagnosed with cancer

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Parker Jackson

Parker Jackson is diagnosed with cancer, but at age 11 he says that he doesn’t let his diagnosis get him down and that he does activities to keep his mind occupied. 

Wentzville/Lincoln County, Mo. - The Jackson family is grateful for a Lincoln County group that has helped raise money for their son’s cancer treatment. 

Parker Jackson has been diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma cancer. His parents Angie and Jeff Jackson, are grateful for the $35,000 that was raised by the Facebook group, “The end is near, so let us drink beer.” 

The group was created in April of 2020 as a place to connect with other residents in Lincoln County during the pandemic. 

Now the group has over 91,000 members, and they all helped raise money for the Jacksons. 

In total over two different fundraisers, one online and one offline, the group raised about 35,000 for the ParkerStrong organization. 

“The group is fairly new, they have been in existence for about a year, so it was the celebration of their one year,” Angie said, explaining how the fundraising started for her son. 

She said that the group was excited to meet up and they met for the first time as a group in Hotshots Sports Bar and Grill in Wentzville. She said the first half of the money came from the fundraiser at Hotshots.

“They did a silent auction, a raffle, and then a couple of other people who (vendor) their products sold their items and donations. Any proceeds from that event went to us,” Jackson said. 

“Afterwards after they shared in the group how much they raised somebody had the idea (to raise more money),” Angie said. 

The idea was to have all the members donate $1.

In total, the group raised $35,000 for Parker.  

The cancer Parker is diagnosed with is Rhabdomyosarcoma is a type of sarcoma. Sarcoma is a cancer of soft tissue, such as muscle, connective tissue, such as tendon or cartilage or bone. 

Rhabdomyosarcoma usually begins in muscles that are attached to bones and that help the body move, but it may begin in many places in the body.

His cancer started as a toothache. 

“He had some jaw pain so we thought it was molars coming in,” Angie said. 

She said that the dentist confirmed their suspicion about the molars. 

“And then another two or three weeks went by and it was still not getting any better. He started to get some ear pain,” Angie said. 

Jeff also noted that Parker’s face was also swelling up, but the family thought it was just sinuses because the whole family has bad sinuses. 

Parker was taken to his pediatrician and the Doctor confirmed that it was just a bad sinus infection. 

The doctor put Parker on medication and told them that if the infection gets any worse by the end of the week, call back. 

“We got to midweek and his face started swelling even more,” Angie said. “We called back and they got us into an ENT (ears, nose, and throat doctor) that day.”

The doctor did a scope and said that he saw a mass in Parker’s nose. They sent the family for a CT and the next day they had a specialist, who called and told them that the mass could be a sarcoma of some sort. 

Angie said that the cancer that Parker is diagnosed with is aggressive and quick acting.  

“That was all on a Friday and Monday he was in so much pain from the growth of the sarcoma already,” Angie said. 

She said that the sarcoma rapidly grew. She called the Children’s Hospital and they brought the family in for pain control. 

“We were then admitted for a week-long course of test after test,” Angie said. 

She said that Parker had surgery to put his chemo port in so he could receive medication. He got a biopsy so they cut out a piece of the tumor that was in the back of his throat. He had cat scans and a lumbar culture, where they puncture the bone marrow to look for cancer cells there. 

“It was just a week-long pool of testing and they started his first round of chemo that Sunday,” Angie said. “It was all done in a week.”

Those who would like to donate for ParkerStrong can Venmo Angie money at Angie-Jackson-3. She also has a Facebook page with Parker’s story on it called “ParkerStrong’’.

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