Inspired by teen, Shepard exceeds $20K for cancer research
April 25, 2013 1:08PM
Emotions ran high for Shepard High School security officer Shirley Jones, pictured in the background with her son, Jimmy. Jones wrote a speech read by Jacki Frederking, dean of students, thanking the Shepard community for its support of Jimmy, who fights stage 4 Hodgkin's lymphoma. | Supplied photo
Updated: May 29, 2013 6:02AM
Shirley Jones wants Shepard High School students and staff to be able to put a face to their efforts to raise funds to fight cancer.
It is the face of her son, Jimmy, 19.
After a recent St. Baldrick’s Foundation assembly in which the Shepard community set a new record with more than $20,000 in donations, Jones said she felt assured.
Jones, who works security at Shepard and is a Crestwood police officer, has been watching her son fight for his life against Hodgkins lymphoma.
Jacki Frederking, dean of students, read a speech Jones wrote about her son prior to the traditional St. Baldrick’s head-shaving by 2,000 students and staff members.
“The support from the staff and student body is amazing. I know I reached so many kids (through the speech),” Jones said. “I want them to know this is one of the faces of cancer. They donated so much and I am so proud of them.”
Jones said her son was surprised at the outpouring of support.
“He was greeted with so much love and support. At the end of the event he and I had such an emotional moment. We were honored to have shared it with our Shepard family. Yesterday was for St. Baldrick’s, but it was so much more to us,” Jones said.
Jimmy Jones learned in December he had Stage 4 Hodgkins lymphoma. After several weeks of tests and multiple visits to emergency rooms, the family received the devastating news.
Today, he not only fights the cancer, but seizures and heart failure.
“Having my son fight for his life is by far the most emotional thing I have experienced. I am scared every time I leave him,” Jones said.
“Now every time we go to the hospital, there’s something else. So St. Baldrick’s was so much more to us. Today we fight. Tomorrow we will be fighting too,” Jones said.