It’s been slightly more than five years since Avon Lake’s Jeremy George was first diagnosed with leukemia and five since his family and friends organized a “pay it forward” golf outing to support families of those affected by cancer.
“Jeremy is now finishing up his junior year at Kent State and will be interning at ESPN/WKNR Radio Station this summer,” his mother, Debbie George said. “He is 4 1/2 years in remission and is still incredibly positive and an inspiration to us all.”
Early in 2008, Jeremy George, a 17-year-old Avon Lake High School wrestler in his senior year, came down with what he thought was the flu. After a series of tests, Jeremy and his family learned that he had T-Cell leukemia. He went through remission, and a relapse before entering remission again.
In 2009, the “We Love Jeremy” golf outing resulted in $10,000 in donations which went toward presents for patients at Rainbow Babies & Children’s hospital, and their families. In 2010, the organization donated $5,000 to the Ronald McDonald House to sponsor a room for families of those being treated.
Last year, the 501(c)3, Jeremy Cares, raised a record $19,000 at the annual golf outing including a record number of sponsors (62).
This year, the outing has a new venue.
“We are moving the outing to Bob O Link this year in an effort to grow the event,” George said. “The growth has been awesome.”
The organization was founded on the philosophy of paying it forward and that philosophy continues.
“This past holiday season, we took five families that have been impacted by our organization with us when we delivered gifts to Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital. That was such a cool thing to see and experience. It's just as ‘healing’ to the giver, as to the receiver.”
Also helping out was the contribution of a Nation Lending Corp. which made a very large contribution to the Christmas gift delivery in 2012.
“Due to their large donation, we were able to take some of the funds that we had set aside for that event and expand services next year,” George said. “Last year, we not only provided for inpatient families, but for seven outpatient families as well, through the Social Worker's office. We also will host two -three additional parties at Rainbow this year and have set aside budget dollars to help families with special needs.”
Also contributing is the a partnership with WOW! Cable which will donate 3 percent of ongoing revenue to the organization if a person mentions We Love Jeremy when signing up.
“It's incredibly generous of WOW! and they have been wonderful to work with,” George said, noting the contributions from that program have grown from a few hundred dollars to more than $2,000 last year.
This year’s We Love Jeremy golf out on Aug. 10 is at Bob-O-Link golf course in Avon. There is an 8 a.m. check-in and 9 a.m. shotgun start. Cost is $340 per foursome and includes 18 holes of golf, lunch and steak dinner, beer and beverages, prizes and contests.