MEDFORD, Ore. — Nearly one year ago, a 9-year-old Eagle Point boy, beloved by the community, died after battling a rare form of childhood cancer, but Kim Jostad, Ethan Jostad’s mom, says his journey isn’t over.
“I’m grieving for my son and I feel like this is my way to continue his journey and fight,” says Kim Jostad. “Ethan never gave up his battle. As a mother, I need to continue that battle for him.”
That fight for a cure, for Kim, meant shaving her head. She wasn’t alone, thousands gathered in Hollywood for a St. Baldricks foundation event. Celebrities, supporters and the “46 Mamas” attended. Kim Jostad says 46 children everyday in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer; their moms make up this group.
“It was the opportunity to share our struggles, our good moments and cry together and it was just humbling to have everyone here together fighting as one,” Jostad says.
As each mom had her hair shaved, Kim, holding a picture of her son, said goodbye to her blonde hair. But it was the memory of another goodbye that brought tears to her face.
“Losing my hair makes me feel a little bit closer to him because he lost his hair,” she says. Hopefully, bringing science closer to finding a cure.
“My son said to me, ‘I’m going to die because science failed me; nobody funded the research to find a fund to my cancer,” Jostad says. “I know more children are going to be diagnosed with cancer. If we don’t continue this fight, then we won’t be moving toward finding cures. I don’t want anyone else to feel as I feel as a mother.”
Kim Jostad alone raised $6,100 to go to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. With the other moms, the total raised is more than $150,000.