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New Home for Long Haul Survivor
EARLVILLE, IA (CBS2/FOX28) Among all the headlights, wheels and Big Rigs at the Midwest Pride in Your Ride Truck and Tractor Show, Eldon Jaegers truck that stands out just a little more.
"Well the message is incredible, said Rockwood Products' Carl Carstens. Eldon I'm sure could write a book right now." Rockwood Products donated materials for the interior of the truck.
Eldon and Barb Jaegers daughter Brenda lost her battle with cancer in 2011. In her name, the Long Haul Survivor has traveled all around the country, raising awareness and money for cancer research. At one point, Eldon was home for only two weekends over six months.
"The rest of the time we've been somewhere, and pretty much on the order of everywhere, said Jaeger as he addressed the crowd before raffling off the Long Haul Survivor. During the fundraising campaign, he sold more than 9,000 tickets at $10 each.
The truck is for the daughter that Eldon and Barb lost. But the girl picking the trucks new owner was the daughter that Scott and Vicki Kluesner are lucky to still have.
"The Jaegers daughter had cancer, our daughter has cancer, said Vicki. We're part of a club you don't want to belong to, but we belong to."
Last may, Doctors found a tumor on Jackie Kluesners spinal cord. She could have been paralyzed, but now she walks around like any other 11-year old.
"God gave it to me because he knew I could handle it and I kind of just brush it off my shoulder, said Jackie as she sat on the top step of the Long Haul Survivor.
Shes hardly any other 11-year old. She has her own organization, Jackies Cause, which also raises money for cancer research. The sense of community Jackie and Eldons work creates is a support system they say is vital for those with cancer and their loved ones.
Now, the Long Haul Survivor on its way to its new owners home in Michigan.
"Well your ticket's been drawn for the Long Haul Survivor, Eldon told the winner after calling her on a cell phone.
"Are you telling me I won that big purple Peterbilt, she responded. Organizers held a microphone up to the phone so the crowd could hear the conversation.
"Yeah, you blew my mind there sir, she added.
Eldon says with the truck being raffled off, the community that he and Jackie help to build isnt gong anywhere, its just getting bigger.
Eldon says he hopes that his work encourages someone else to also take on a project to raise money for cancer research. He says hes not done yet, he just isnt sure what hell do next.