9/27/2013: Last evening I had the honor to attend the dedication of a room at Children’s Mercy Hospital named in the honor of Jared and Jayne Coones. The room designation is a result of thousands of dollars in donations made to Children’s Mercy from the Pumpkin Run over the last 14 years. But in reality, it’s much more than the thousands of dollars, it is the culmination of a dream Tom and his family have in sustaining Jared’s memory. They are dedicated to defeating leukemia from ever taking another life and supporting organizations like Children’s Mercy, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, The Dream Factory, and Ronald McDonald House that support families challenged in this way.
Saturday, October 5th, 2013 will be the 15th Annual Jared Coones Pumpkin Run/Walk, which coincidently corresponds with the date in 1998 that Jared passed away. I know I’ll never forget the early morning phone call from his grandfather, telling me that Jared had died. Little did I know at that time, with tears in my eyes, that Jared’s passing was not an ending, but a special beginning. The Pumpkin Run has come a long way in the last 15 years. Not only have the number of participants continued to increase, more importantly, the mission of the Jared Coones Foundation has been strengthened with the funding they provide to organizations that assist cancer patients and their families.
The room at Children’s Mercy is just one of many examples of the good that has come from Jared’s legacy and the commitment of the Coones Family. It’s also an example of how a family with a dream can touch so many lives in a special way. As we enter the week leading up to the Pumpkin Run, I hope you’ll reflect upon the power of a dream and the change that it can bring. You never know where it might take you…Dream On!….Run On!