While most 8 year olds look forward to their birthdays for parties and presents, Jet Charter looks forward to his birthday so that he can give back to kids who could use a little birthday cheer. For the third year in a row, Jet donated his birthday presents to children undergoing radiation treatment at The Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment at St. Joseph Hospital, which was celebrated this week with Jet's friends, family and hospital staff.
About one in every 10 patients treated at the center is a child and the gifts provide a piece of joy to an otherwise stressful, and at times scary, experience. The presents collected are put in a toy box called "Spencer's Chest" (named for a previous patient) that holds toys for children to visit after undergoing radiation treatment.
"At Jet's age, most children are thinking about what toys they want for their birthday, not about how they can help others," said Robert Ash, M.D., medical director, radiation oncology at The Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment. "He is a true inspiration for his peers and the adults around him and we sincerely thank Jet and all of his friends for being so generous with their gifts."
Jet's father, Ron Charter, said that once he told Jet's friends and their parents about the idea to donate presents received at his birthday party to the center, the presents just kept coming. "We hope it grows and grows every year," he said.
While Jet mentioned some of the gifts were harder to give up than others (in particular a special "Green Lantern" set he had his eye on), he said his favorite part about donating is the knowledge that he is making kids happy when they need it most. "It was hard at first, but I really thought about it and it was something I wanted to do," Jet said.
The Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment at St. Joseph Hospital was recently recognized for a second time with a distinguished, three-year Accreditation with Commendation by the
American College of Surgeon's Commission on Cancer (ACoS-CoC) and is the sole California participant in the National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP). The Center is the first of its kind in Orange County and one of only a few in the nation offering the latest in preventative care, diagnostics, treatment and clinical trials and its cutting-edge facility and cancer programs allow our specially trained physicians to perform research and discover new treatments and therapies for cancer. For more information about St. Joseph Hospital's comprehensive cancer services visit:
About St. Joseph Health
St. Joseph Hospital is part of St. Joseph Health, a $4.7 billion integrated Catholic health care delivery system sponsored by the St. Joseph Health Ministry. We provide a full range of care facilities including: acute care hospitals, home health agencies, hospice care, outpatient services, skilled nursing facilities, community clinics and physician organizations throughout California, Texas and New Mexico. Our 24,000 dedicated employees strive daily to provide perfect care while building the healthiest communities and ensuring every encounter is sacred. St. Joseph Health is committed to maintaining a continuum of care that matches the diverse needs of the communities we serve. For more information about St. Joseph Health, log onto www.stjoe.org.