Staying on track at school is something kids can struggle with. Add a cancer diagnosis and it becomes even harder.
The Jay’s Hope Foundation helps Central Georgia families battling childhood cancer. They provide many services, like providing gas cards to patients so they can get to doctors’ appointments, a weeklong summer camp, and education support, all at no cost.
Second grader Jarhya Ussery loves school, but her earlier years were a lot tougher than the problems on her math worksheet. She was diagnosed with leukemia.
“She had radiation, total body radiation, and then they did the bone marrow treatment,” her grandmother Bettie Jones said.
She says Jarhya has since been cured, but the years of treatment put her behind in school. That’s where the foundation and their tutor Jane Wilson step in.
“She helps me with spelling words, she helps me with lots of things,” Jarhya said.
Wilson is retired Houston County teacher.
“Mrs. Jane puts that one on one with them,” Jones said. “Then a couple of times when she was in the hospital she came to see her.”
Wilson helps kindergarteners to seniors in high school both during and after treatment.
“When you can’t go to school, you really miss it a lot,” Wilson said. “You miss the teachers, you miss the school work, not just your friends, and I try and keep that in mind.”
Her goal is to keep every kid she works with on track, or catch them up as quickly as she can.
“I watched them struggle through a lot of things, and when they can say I get it, or like when my little Jarhya can read those instructions on her homework to me, it just makes me feel fabulous,” Wilson said.
After working with Wilson for the past few years, Jarhya is finally where she should be.
“By the end of the year, they expect her to be on track with her school grade level, and the sky is the limit for her,” Jones said.
Jay’s Hope will host their Trek or Treat road race Saturday October 28. They have a 10k, 5k, starting at 8 a.m., and 1 mile Unspooky Sprint for the youngsters at 9:15 a.m. The famous Candy Mile starts at 9:30. On the mile stretch, kids will be able to collect more than 40,000 pieces of candy. All of this takes place at the at Bass Pro Shops. To sign up click here.