11 News was the only one to tell you about Ryan Jackson, a 22-year-old who lives in a small town outside of Canon City. Jackson was born with a ureter defect, and is beginning to have kidney failure. He needs a rare surgery, one that his family can’t afford.
A New Year’s Eve fundraiser in Canon City helped Jackson raised $700 of his initial $900 down payment for the surgery.
And now, thanks to an 11 News viewer, who wanted to remain anonymous, Jackson has the $200 more he needs.
The man, who is a disabled combat vet, says he was touched by the story. He called KKTV right after our story aired on December 30. He volunteered to pay whatever amount Jackson didn’t raise in the fundraiser in order to reach that $900 mark.
"Been dealing with this pain for a long time. I'm just not able to work or do anything. It's kind of put a hold on my life for the last couple of years,” said Jackson.
The veteran told 11 News, “He just reminded me of my grandson. That’s what I thought about and what caused me to call. I also understand what it means to live with pain. When I saw him, I understood what he was talking about. And if this surgery will help get him out of pain, then more power to him and God bless him.”
Jackson told 11 News that only one specialist in the state can perform the life-saving surgery.
Charles Luckey, who is best friends with Jackson's brother, wanted to help. As co-owner of Luckey's Family Cuisine, he saw the chance to use the venue to host a New Year's Eve fundraiser. The goal of the fundraiser was to raise money for the down payment for the surgery. The fundraiser brought Jackson within $200 of the necessary amount.
Now with enough money for the down payment, Jackson could potentially get the surgery within the next few weeks.
"It means everything to me. Just knowing that I'm gonna have my life back means more to me than anything. My family misses the way I used to be, I miss the way I used to be. I'm just not the same person anymore since I've had this,” Jackson told 11 News prior to the fundraiser.
“I’m in pain all the time. It’s feel like I have been dead the last few years. So this means the world to me,” he said.
Jackson says he is overwhelmed by the support of his friends and the community.
“I don’t know what I would do without these people, they are my family,” said Jackson.
It will still cost Jackson thousands to pay for the cost of the procedure. Any more donations would be greatly appreciated. You can drop them off anytime at Luckey’s, which is located at 507 Main Street in Canon City.