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Finding the Right Tool
WORTHINGTON, IA (CBS2/FOX28) Almost everyone you meet has a story about how cancer has affected their life or that of a family member or friend. Eldon and Barb Jaeger have not only been personally affected by cancer, but theyve made it their mission to raise money for cancer research.
If you cant find the right tool in Eldons garage, where he fixes the cabs that pull 18-wheelers, you probably shouldnt be around garages.
But theres at least one thing that even the best machinery cant fix.
A broken heart.
She went through it all, brave, said Eldons wife Barb, as she flipped through a photo album of her daughter, Brenda. And when the doctor told her it was the end, she accepted it.
Brenda Jaeger lost her battle with cancer in January, 2011. But the Jaegers choose to focus on how long she was able to live after her diagnosis.
"If somebody before her wouldn't have sacrificed, she wouldn't have lived for the 14 and a half years that she actually battled the cancer, said Eldon.
So to pay it forward, Eldon did what he does best.
He fixed up a truck.
On May 3, itll go home with one lucky raffle winner. All the proceeds go to the American Cancer Societys Rely for Life.
"Until you actually go do this, you don't know what it's going to be like, said Eldon.
What its been like is 71 stops and over $100,000 donated to cancer research over three years. It also helps to drive something that stands out at all the fundraising events.
"The people that talk about it, they just talk about the purple truck and everybody knows what you're talking about, said Eldon.
The funny thing is all the publicity that the truck gets, Brenda never wanted.
"I don't know how she'd feel but she never wanted any attention, she never wanted anyone to make a fuss. 'Don't do anything for me, said Barb.
But what her parents did do now makes people remember the loved ones that they lost. Eldon says people cry when they see the truck all the time.
"If I'd have asked her she probably would have said no, but I think now she's proud of it, said Eldon. Just for the fact that it's going to help other people also."
So maybe the tool to help mend that broken heart is actually in Eldons garage. It just happens to look much more like a truck.