For nearly a year, Randa Ragland has been her son’s support system as he battles cancer.
According to the GoFundMe account set up to help the family pay for his medical bills, Jaxen Grey Ragland turned three years old on October 24, 2018. It was just a few days after he was admitted to into a children’s hospital on October 17, where an MRI scan, CT scan, a bone marrow biopsy and more revealed that Jaxen has Neuroblastoma stage 4 cancer.
As Ragland told CBS 42, following his cancer diagnosis and because Jaxen is also autistic and non-verbal, much of her attention has been on making sure her son is happy and comfortable.
However, after receiving an anonymous note in the mail, Ragland admits she felt angry over people’s lack of empathy:
“I opened it and it was pretty much [the sender] shaming me for my yard.”
Ragland said that the person who wrote the note accused her of not caring about her home, adding that she needs to “do better” because “your eyesore is affecting the resale value of our homes.”
The note read, in part:
…exterior of your house. Your eyesore is affecting the real value of our homes. Who wants to buy a house near you and look at that daily? It does not take that much effort, all you have to do is give a ****.
Ragland admitted that while the letter did make her angry, she didn’t have the energy to stay angry.
That’s when Ragland took to Facebook in an effort to make people realize that “you don’t know what somebody’s going through. Kindness goes such a long way. Gratitude goes such a long way.”
She wrote on Facebook:
To whom it may concern:
At first I wasn’t going to post this. But one of my neighbors decided tossed me this note. I’m just trying to show anyone and everyone. You never know what is going on with the next person life. My family is truly going through rough times right now. Your youngest son (Jaxen) out of 5 children. Was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma cancer. In October of 2018 a few days before his 3rd birthday. Jaxen is also non-verbal and autistic. Our lives consists of doctors visits. And clinic appointments. Then we do hospitals stays. For chemo and transplants. And surgeries. My son has literally been fighting for his life. He has been hospitalized more than 20 times has over 7 surgeries. he is truly the bravest person I now. I say all this to say. Try being kind to your neighbor or the stranger you let in then there’s traffic. Say hello to people. Just kindness. It’s crazy how things like this can truly change a person. Because just a years ago. I would of been so angry from this note. But I ugly don’t have the energy for that kind of negativity. Maybe the owner of this note might see this. And maybe not. But either way I feel this may touch someone and that is enough in itself.
Ragland had no idea the type of response her words would bring.
As CBS 42 reports, strangers from all over the area flooded to Ragland’s home and began working to help clean up her yard. The volunteers cut grass, trees, and helped make her yard look as good as new.
One of the volunteers, Joey Harding, said he was touched by the moment, especially after losing his 6-year-old daughter Lulu to the same form of cancer on July 25:
“Look at this. This is love. This is love for a stranger. We don’t even know these people. Words can’t describe what this means to me right now. It’s helping me. It’s helping me cope with losing my daughter. To help another family in need.”
The volunteers now call themselves “Jaxen’s Army for Justice” and plan to continue helping the family when they can.
Ragland said she is shocked by the kind and helpful response to her Facebook post, “I’m in amazement. 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.”
How beautiful is this?