Legacy lives on for Yukon's Jarred Hayes
The holiday season can be difficult for families who have lost loved ones. But out of tragedy, something very positive can come.
Jarred Hayes’ story is one of those.
Like most young boys, Hayes played sports while growing up in Yukon. Basketball was his passion.
He played on the basketball team at Yukon High School until being diagnosed with a brain tumor as a sophomore in 2000. Hayes died later that year, but thanks to some of his friends, he is still impacting the lives of others nine years later.
Hayes’ friends organized a golf tournament in his honor, with proceeds going to the Ronald McDonald Foundation. In three years, the tournament has raised nearly $25,000 after bringing in $10,000 back in September.
“We chose the Ronald McDonald Foundation, because Jarred’s parents would stay at the Ronald McDonald House when they would go to Dallas for Jarred’s treatment,” said Josh Mueggenborg, one of the friends who headed up the development of the memorial golf tournament. “It all comes back to helping kids in same situation as Jarred.”
The tournament raised so much money, that when Children’s Hospital built a new wing earlier this year, one of the rooms was named in Hayes’ honor. It’s called “Jarred’s Place.”
His mother designed it in a sports theme with memorabilia from Hayes’ favorite teams, the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Cubs, so that the room really does feel like Jarred’s place.
Out-of-town families of children at the hospital can use the room to try to rest during their child’s stay at the hospital.
On Friday, Jarred’s mother, father and two younger brothers will celebrate Christmas without him for the 10th time. But thanks to Jarred’s continuing legacy, they can know he is touching the lives of other children and their families at the holidays.
Tragedy turned positive.
– Scott Wright, firstname.lastname@example.org
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