A group of Platte County High School students used an unexpected brush with local celebrities to supply an act of kindness for others.
Kenedy Knox, Rylie Collins, Hayli Tongate, Lauren Leocardi, Alexis Ray, Mallory Stoner and Koryne Matthews were gifted tickets to Justin Bieber’s concert Wednesday, April 6 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. In the next suite over, members of the Kansas City Royals, including Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Wade Davis, Alex Gordon, Jason Vargas and Danny Duffy, congregated to enjoy the show, as well.
At the conclusion of the concert, Knox, a senior, approached Moustakas about recording a message in support of Landon Jaros, a four-year-old in Platte City diagnosed the previous week with T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Landon is the son of Platte County Middle School physical education teacher Todd Jaros and Megan Jaros.
Eventually, Hosmer — Royals first baseman and one of the biggest stars of Kansas City’s back-to-back World Series appearances — delivered an 11-second message directed to Landon. Hosmer fulfilled the request before leaving the concert when videos and images showed a large group of excited girls mobbing the baseball star.
“We didn’t confront them until after the concert because we wanted them to enjoy their time there without being bugged,” Collins said of the encounter. “People started to notice it was them as the concert went on and started to bug them, but the girls and I wanted to make sure we didn’t make it a big deal that the Royals were next to us because they are just like us and they deserved to have some private space.”
Todd Jaros originally requested videos to help while Landon started treatment at Children’s Mercy Hospital, and the trend caught on with family, friends and strangers.
Knox and Collins recorded their own message to Landon, describing themselves and Landon’s “favorite babysitters.” Other messages have come from members of the K Crew (in-game entertainers for the Royals) and an offer to attend a baseball game with Laurence Leavy — a Miami-based lawyer known as Marlins Man for the distinctive orange baseball jersey he wears while attending high-profile sporting events.
A GoFundMe account set up to help the lifelong Platte City residents with medical expenses has raised more than $26,000, surpassing the original goal of $10,000 within a few hours. T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia is considered one of the most treatable forms of cancer, but doctors have told the Jaros family to prepare for at least three years of treatment at this point.