Any way we could slow down with the crazy news here in Platte County?
This has been a crazy couple of weeks, and there’s no end in sight to some of these situations. We will continue following up on the situation in Ferrelview, the status of the taxpayer money lost in a fraudulent county transaction, the death of a woman in the custody of the Platte County Sheriff’s Office (might be a while on that) and now the bank robbery in Dearborn.
For now, I’d like to update you on another story that’s been out of our paper for a few weeks. I’ve tried to space out any updates on Landon Jaros because at times I think my personal relationship with the family makes me more interested in the situation than you.
However, we’ve received such good response that another highlight seems warranted.
Son of two Platte County High School graduates, Landon Jaros received another special opportunity last weekend while continuing to receive treatment for cancer. He was an honoree of The Victory Project at Saturday’s Sporting Kansas City game against FC Dallas at Children’s Mercy Park.
Founded in 2013, The Victory Project initiative that unites players, staff and fans to help children thrive through life’s challenges.
While the presence of acting stars Rob Riggle and Paul Rudd dominated the ambience headlines for Sporting KC’s 2-0 win, Landon received plenty of attention with his unique opportunities. He visited a training session, received autographs and pictures with the players along with a personal video message from SKC star Graham Zusi, and most importantly, he gave some high fives as the players came out of the tunnel for the game.
Heck, Landon even got a photo with Rudd.
Todd Jaros, my lifelong friend, posted a video to Facebook of the pre-match greetings. I was struck by the big smile on Landon’s face as he dished out each successive high-five.
The road has been difficult for the Jaros family since Landon’s diagnosis of T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in late March. He’s undergone rounds of chemotherapy that have taken away his bright red hair and at times the joyful spirit he’s known to have in this community.
I especially noticed the loss of spunk during a special presentation Platte County’s baseball team prepared for Landon after a game in the spring. Having undergone a surgery earlier in the day, Landon could only manage a few half smiles for the gifts and special attention.
Todd rolled him onto the baseball field that day in a wheelchair with the 4-year-old looking weak and frail.
The efforts to help the family and push Landon through the difficult treatments have continued. Culver’s in Platte City held a fundraiser day that sent a steady stream of customers into the restaurant with the sales from the night donated to the family.
In addition to the honoree status from The Victory Projcet, the American Outlaws of Kansas City — a supporter group for the United States Men’s national team, of which I’m a member — raised $200 for Landon. All in all, the day proved memorable and showed those continuing to support Landon that he can still have fun and look a little more like his old self.
What a Father’s Day gift for Todd, who has become a huge soccer fan as he grows older. I’m sure this will be a memorable weekend for father and son to look back on some day when cancer is just a distant footnote.
Ross Martin is publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @Citizen_Ross.