MACC Star Designer Jack Bartosz
Carole Meekins, Stephanie Graham
Carole Meekins reportsPhoto: Video by tmj4.com
MILWAUKEE - This year is the 35th anniversary of the "MACC Fund"--which raises money for childhood cancer research. Today, we meet this year's "MACC Star", ten-year-old Jack Bartosz.
Jack's been fighting cancer most of his young life. But as you'll see--this is no ordinary youngster. He's taken his disease and gone above and beyond to help others like him.
From charity golf events to world-record fundraisers.
Jack Bartosz is a busy little boy on a mission--raising money to fight the disease he's been living with for six years.
Jack Bartosz: "Makes me feel good because then there'll be less people with cancer."
Jack was diagnosed with stage four, high-risk neuroblastoma in September 2005.
His mom told TODAY'S TMJ4, "When you're talking to a 4-year-old about cancer, you describe it as the ickies and tell him just what he needs to know--small pieces of information but Jack is a smart kid, and it's 6 years later, so he is all too aware of what cancer is."
Jack admits he can't always keep up with his friends, "I can't run as fast as most people, and i don't like getting al the medicine, the chemo and stuff, make your hair fall out."
But Jack doesn't sit around feeling sorry for himself, his dad told TODAY'S TMJ4, "Jack's great. His attitude is better than most adults, and he keeps on going and going and going, and that's what keeps us going and going and going."
They truly are a family on the move!
This summer they held an annual "I Back Jack Foundation" golf event to raise money to help develop new cancer drugs.
Another fundraiser this fall, hosted by our TODAY'S TMJ4's Charles Benson, had 530 people playing the word game "bananagrams"--a world record!!
Jack "hangs out" with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. And even shares a wheaties box photo with the Super Bowl MVP!
"He's just proud that Aaron Rodgers is his friend and he's happy to be able to support him," Jack's mom told TODAY'S TMJ4.
But this holiday season--it's Jack's artistic talent getting attention.
He designed this year's MACC star ornament, saying, "I got inspired by all the other MACC stars so I drew a Santa with a stethoscope."
Money raised from ornament sales goes right back to the MACC fund.
"I couldn't be more thankful for what they have done, and will continue to do for kids like Jack," said Jack's mom.
And Jack has a message for anyone with an empty spot on their christmas tree this year. He says, "Help fight childhood cancer. Buy a MACC star!"
The Bartosz family's "I Back Jack" Foundation has raised more than $300,000 dollars for cancer drug research.