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Community Helps Mom and Son with Stage 4 Cancer After Her House Is Called 'Eyesore'

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When your child is diagnosed with a life-threatening condition, your world changes and your entire focus becomes getting your child healthy again.

Anything that doesn’t help you reach that end is sidelined.

For the Ragland family, it was 3-year-old Jaxen who was found to have stage 4 cancer. He had neuroblastoma, a rare cancer that cropped up and was identified just before his third birthday.

“Jaxen was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma stage 4 cancer,” the Ragland family’s GoFundMe page for Jaxen reads. “He has cancerous cells in his bone marrow. And it is covering 75 % of his body.

“Jaxen prognosis is 40-60% of living and beating this disease. He has Tumors behind his eyes And in his kidney. Jaxen has a long road ahead of doctors visit and treatment. He has to get Two years of chemo. Radiation and stem cell transplant and surgery to remove the tumors.”

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Already, Jaxen has been through seven surgeries and has been hospitalized many times. The 3-year-old is also non-verbal and has autism, and he’s one of four children.

It’s pretty clear Ragland’s hands are full.

And when many parents receive such a devastating diagnosis, they have a community of friends and family that pitch in and help the family as they fight their battle.

Randa Ragland wasn’t blessed with an army of relatives to help her tackle the everyday tasks that started piling up and, as a result, her house didn’t get as much care as some nosy neighbors thought it should.

In July, someone decided to send Ragland a letter about the state of her property.

According to CBS News, this anonymous writer accused Ragland of letting her house go and bringing the whole neighborhood’s appeal and property value down.

“I opened it and it was pretty much them shaming me for my yard,” the mother said. “At first, I felt a little angry but so much had been going on with us and our family. I just didn’t have the energy to be negative.”

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Calling Ragland’s home an “eyesore” and charging her family to “do better,” it seemed the note’s author might not have known how turbulent the Raglands’ lives were — so Ragland posted the note on Facebook.

“My whole point was to show people you don’t know what somebody’s going through,” she said. “Kindness goes such a long way. Gratitude goes such a long way.”

It wasn’t long before the post made the rounds and people were offering to help Ragland out.

Shopping, yard care and more have all been taken care of for the Raglands — all because of a rather nasty note.

“I’m in amazement,” Ragland said. “I’m still in shock. I don’t have a large family. My mom is gone, my dad is gone, my brother is gone so this means a lot.”

The GoFundMe page has collected over $21,000 of the $25,000 goal, and the family is incredibly thankful for the donations and prayers they’ve received.

“All this is so very wonderful!!!!” an update read. “Unfortunately life revolves around money. And we had been struggling struggling. It was making hard to appointments and medication that insurance doesn’t cover etc. so all of this makes me so happy.

“When Jaxen was a special food in the hospital I CAN GET IT!! When he wants a toy or something soft to lay on it. I can buy it. Just little things. To gas and eating and bills. YOUR ALL AWESOME!!!!”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking