Jefferson Award Winner: Jaclyn Cazier

Jefferson Awards

Highlighting Local Volunteers

The Jefferson Awards engages the Partners in our communities to highlight local volunteers. The goal is to spotlight the great work they do and to inspire our community to put their service ideas into action.

From the 2019-2020 Honorees, a local panel of judges select one winner that will travel to the National Gala in Washington, DC. to represent Northeast Kansas.  From the nationwide winners, one will be selected for a national Jefferson Award.

Topeka, KAN. (KSNT) – On nearly every shelf in Jaclyn Cazier’s home, you’ll find his picture.

“It took a lot to knock Blake down, I mean he was always smiling,” Jaclyn said while talking about her two-year-old son Blake Cazier.

The beautiful blue-eyed boy, with the infectious smile and laugh, who loved riding on his dad’s golf cart.

In all of Jaclyn’s pictures and videos of Blake he’s smiling or giggling, despite battling an aggressive form of leukemia.

Jaclyn was there by his side every step of the way and through every cancer treatment.

She started sharing Blake’s cancer journey on a Facebook page called Team Blake. The community rallied behind her and her family, always decked out in the Team Blake bright orange.

For 15 months Blake fought for his life, but the cancer was too advanced.

Jaclyn was holding Blake when he took his final breath, “I told him it was okay to go, and I told him that little boys get to drive the golf carts,” Jaclyn said. “And we had a dog that passed away and I said he’ll be riding on the back while you drive it’s okay, it’ll be okay.”

After Blakes’s death in March of 2017, Jaclyn could have easily walked away from Team Blake and no one would’ve thought less of her.

Instead, and through her grief, Jacyln decided to pay it forward, “We had so many people throughout entire time with Blake that had donated gift cards like here’s a gift card to Subway so you can have a meal, or here’s a check to help pay for your rent this month.”

Now Jaclyn’s doing the same for other families by holding blood drives and raising money through golf tournament fundraisers. Jaclyn uses all the money raised to help families with sick children, donating toys and care packages to kids in local hospitals.

“If I could stop one family from feeling the pain that my husband and I feel then that’s what I’m going to do,” Jaclyn said.

To learn more about how to get involved with Team Blake, or to make a donation, click HERE.

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