EAGLE POINT, Ore. – Today Eagle Point High School met their new sparrow, Elio James.
Elio is 10 years old and this past summer he started having cramps and pain in his right leg. That lead to the discovery of a rare bone cancer in his leg. That is only the beginning of the story.
This year’s sponsor for Eagle Point High School’s Sparrow Club is the Ethan Jostad Foundation. Ethan was a sparrow when he was diagnosed with a very similar cancer to what Elio is fighting.
“We went all over the country getting treatment at three different hospitals and unfortunately at the end of that journey, Ethan passed away,” says Christ Jostad, Ethan’s dad.
The Jostad’s started the foundation in honor of Ethan and work to provide financial and emotional support for families that are battling childhood cancer. In addition to sponsoring a local sparrow club, the Ethan Jostad Foundation is also reaching out on their own to help Elio’s family through his treatment.
“I can call or text at any time, which I have done before because Elio’s had fevers,” said Vanessa Jimenez, Elio’s mom, “I text her (Mrs. Jostad) and she’s like, ‘I’m right here with you’.”
The support from the Ethan Jostad Foundation, Sparrow Clubs, and the entire Eagle Point High School student body was overwhelming.
“We’re so honored,” said Jimenez, “We feel so honored to have Eagle Point High School and to have Elio be their sparrow, to be unified and to feel like we’re a part of the Eagle Point High School family. All the students came up and gave us hugs and words of encouragement.”
“I just thought, you guys are so nice; taking some time out of your day just to celebrate me, I thought that was just overwhelming. Thank you,” said Elio.
Eagle Point High School students will now start logging hours of service that the Ethan Jostad Foundation has pledged to match with a monetary donation.