REDDING Calif. (KRCR) - Preschoolers in Redding raised over $10,000 from a hot cocoa stand for one of their classmates who is battling brain cancer.
Jasper Mazzocco, has been in the hospital since November 2019, after doctors at UC Davis discovered he had a brain tumor the size of a tennis ball.
Jasper is undergoing chemotherapy and has not been able to return to school for two months since he's been in the hospital receiving treatment. He goes to Redding Cooperative Preschool and is very close with the other kids at the school and their families.
According to a GoFundMe page set up for the family, the oncologist explained to Jasper's parents he has a small round blue cell tumor, categorized as a PNET, which is further subcategorized into a CNS neuroblastoma meaning it has traveled to other parts of the brain and his spine but is not in his bone marrow or spinal fluid.
In an update on January 12, Jasper's mom said the tumor is smaller and less vascular. She says Jasper will need at least one more cycle of chemo most likely two more before it will be safe to operate but all the doctors say this is the best possible response they could have hoped for.
While Jasper is battling cancer down in Sacramento, his classmates up in Redding organized a hot cocoa fundraiser for him and his family on January 10 called Hot Cocoa for a Cure.
The children at the school and their families volunteered their time and supplies to hold the fundraiser which was held in front of Trader Joes on Browning Street.
Hundreds of people showed up to donate.
Jennifer Stephens, Jasper's preschool teacher, says they raised over $10,000 from the fundraiser on Friday.
"It's amazing, It's wonderful to see how much people care for people they don't know. There were stories throughout the day of people who came who were cancer survivors or who had lost children. People came from Burney, there are so many people we'd like to thank," says Stephens.
Stephens would like to especially thank Trader Joes and Dick's Sporting Goods for letting them use that space along with the employees from Starbucks who helped run the hot cocoa stand and donated supplies.
If you missed the fundraiser but would still like to donate, click here.