DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) – Staying positive has been a big part of Jayma Van Straten’s fight against brain cancer for the last three years.
On Sunday, she and her family were able to pay it forward to other families with loved ones going through similar battles with cancer.
“You don’t think it’s going to happen to your family, but then you realize that cancer has touched every family,” said Jayma’s husband Dan, who organized the first-ever Redbird Ribbon Walk at De Pere High School.
Dan is the PA announcer at sporting events and on the school board at De Pere School District so he said having this event at the high school made a lot of sense. Jayma worked in the school district before her cancer diagnosis.
Hundreds of people showed up to walk laps around the track, pledging donations based on how many laps they made it. There were also raffle prizes and t-shirts with all proceeds going to the De Pere High School Sting Cancer Club which raises awareness about and helps those fighting cancer.
One of the people who attended the event on Sunday was Easton Hauser. Doctors discovered he had a brain tumor about six months ago and he had to have two surgeries. After the surgeries, he wasn’t able to walk, but now he proudly told Local 5 News that he was able to walk three laps at the event on Sunday.
Hauser said that the support of his family and friends has been amazing since his diagnosis and offers this piece of advice to people going through the same thing he is.
“To never be hard on yourself because you can’t be mad at yourself when you have something like that,” said Hauser.
The event raised over $8,500 for the De Pere High School Sting Cancer Club and organizers tell Local 5 news that about 700 people participated.
“Seeing how happy everybody is seeing people come together and being able to impact people’s lives,” said Maddie Rentmeester, who is the president of De Pere High School’s Sting Cancer club which was instrumental in bringing this event together.