Triumph Over Kid Cancer was started by James Ragan in 2010 when he was 13 years old.
It was that year James was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that eventually took his life at the age of 20.
TOKC was founded to help fund meaningful cancer research specifically for pediatric cancers.
While there have been incredible advancements in cancer research, not enough is known about childrens’ cancers.
To date, TOKC has raised more than $3 million.
That money has been put in the hands of researches who are making advancements in the future of cancer treatment in kids.
But that money doesn’t come magically.
TOKC relies on donations from people who care. Good people like local businesswoman and philanthropist Gloria Hicks.
Gloria met James via her son Charlie Hicks.
“My son is a golfer and he and his friends have a group that golfs every Sunday and so they kind of adopted James to play with them and they treated James like he wasn’t ill,” Gloria Hicks said. “He was just one of the guys, and they all loved him so much.”
When Gloria heard about James, she insisted on meeting him.
“I listened to his graduation speech online and I was blown away,” she said. “He could have been president of the United States. He was so brilliant.”
After hearing his speech and meeting him, she knew she wanted to get involved with TOKC.
She and her family have donated big prize items like trips and vacations to be auctioned off at TOKC fundraisers, like the yearly toga party.
“I always go,” she said. “I don’t wear a toga but I have friends that go and it’s such a good time.”
The reward of knowing she’s helping fund meaningful cancer research is what drives Mrs. Hicks and her family to keep helping TOKC.
In fact, her son, Charlie, sits on the board of directors for the non-profit organization.
Gloria Hicks is hopeful of the day when cancer is eradicated.
“In my lifetime, I would like to see it all go away because it’s a terrible disease and it’s taking a lot of lives like James way too soon,” she said.
The memory of James and his courageous fight against cancer keeps her determined to help his organization.
“If you met him, you’ll never forget him,” Hicks said. “In knowing we might be able to help cure the cancer that took him is very important to all of us and that’s why the mission is so important.”