T-Shirt Fundraising Campaign for Child Diagnosed with Cancer — Katzenback Family Pledges to Match Every Dollar Donated Three Times Over
In 2015 my oldest daughter, Gail Katzenback, was diagnosed with a rare form of childhood cancer. She’s only eighteen years old. At that time, I had a successful business and I was in a financial spot where I was able to step away from work. I was able to put 100% of my focus on the treatment of my daughter.
What I realized as we were doing that is, no matter what, you could always try to use fancy words, positive mindset, but the reality is when you’re going through something like that you are now focused on a dying child. Yes, there is chances that they’ll live, but the reality is with cancer is that it’s killing them.
Now hopefully you’re able to find a way to reverse the cancer, but until that time it’s an emotionally draining experience. And what we found was that even though we had the freedom to travel and the ability to step away from work we were still completely overwhelmed, sad, devastated, and it was so hard to function just in general.
As we went through this we saw so many families. There is one family that I particularly remember. We were in Dallas and I remember seeing this young woman come in with four kids and a baby in her hand. The kids were all young, no one looked to be more than nine years old and this lady had to take the bus to get to the hospital to bring her child in to get treatment that day. And I just thought of how hard that must be.
Here I was dealing with a child that was eighteen years old and it was only the three of us. My other daughter was able to take care of herself. Our position was really so much easier compared to that mother’s situation. Plus, we had the financial ability to afford to stay in nice places and everything.
It really kicked a passion in for us to realize, my dear goodness, how much harder this is for other people. And it really sparked in our heart. We felt like we gained a superpower where we have so much empathy and feeling towards others going through this. We’re able to relate to what they’ve gone through, to feel what they’ve gone through. And because of that we’re very passionate about helping people.
Now sadly, in March of this year, my daughter passed away. And then on top of that, within two months of my daughter passing away, my daughter’s little cousin, Kayge (a five-year-old boy), suddenly became diagnosed with an even more aggressive brain cancer, called DIPG. This young family is not in the same financial spot as our family. Because of that, we’re trying to do all we can to help them. One of the things that we’ve done recently is start a t-shirt campaign where as a family, my wife and I agreed that we will match every dollar raised 3 times over to be able to donate that money to this young family because they’re in such need of help.
And it really aligns with, first of all, who we are as a company. At Amazing.com, we want to make everyone’s lives amazing. But it also aligns with me as a person. I’ve been blessed, I’ve worked really hard, and have been able to achieve things in my life where now I want to be able to help other people.
When you have a passion like I do, because first hand I’ve seen the devastation that this does, it’s hard not to want to help everybody. You can sit there and get overwhelmed and say, “How can I help absolutely everybody?” Maybe you can’t help everybody, but you can definitely help somebody.
It all starts with just one person doing anything they can do — even something as simple as this t-shirt campaign. We felt like it’s just something small we can do but it truly can have such a huge, profound impact on that family to know that they’re being thought of, that they’re being cared for.
For the t-shirt fundraiser, we’re using a service called Bonfire. The t-shirts are super comfortable, they’re really, really nice, and it’s supporting a great cause. They’re only $22.
100% of the profits from the t-shirts are going directly to the young family. And, again, we’ll be matching every dollar raised three times over. Buy one today for a great cause. Kayge and his family thank you!
Jason Katzenback is co-founder and CEO of Amazing.com. He is a husband, father, and philanthropist. He is passionate about helping families battling cancer get through tough times.