Local nonprofit helps families dealing with childhood cancer


Cindy Gaskins founded Jay’s HOPE Foundation in 2006 to assist families dealing with childhood cancer.

Cindy Gaskins’s son Jay died at five-years-old on March 31, 2006. Ever since, Gaskins has been dedicated to assisting families dealing with childhood cancer.

Gaskins founded Jay’s HOPE Foundation during the time her son was receiving treatment. She now serves as the executive director. Since 2006, the local nonprofit organization has been providing resources such as family events, play therapy, a family resource center, tutorial sources, temporary housing, travel and financial assistance for families.

“My son Jay was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor at the age of two and we went to St. Jude in Memphis, Tennessee for treatment,” Gaskins said. “I just would meet other families and saw that there was a need to start a ministry to provide direct support to families with children battling cancer back here in Middle Georgia.”

Jay battled against cancer for two-and-a-half years until his death in 2006.

“He was just very sweet and caring,” Gaskins said. “He was just always concerned about other people and how he could help other people and love on other people.”

Christie Johnson, Jay’s HOPE development director said Jay’s HOPE is not like other nonprofits. Instead, Jay’s HOPE is a family and Gaskins and others go beyond the norms to help those who are in need.

“She just really felt a calling to be there for families in the midst of their battle,” Johnson said. “So, she’s just amazing. I mean, she travels probably two to three times a week to either be with families during surgery, to be there during chemo. She spends a lot of time with families and if a child passes afterward she does counseling and helps them.”

Get Involved

Jay’s HOPE is a full nonprofit, meaning they are completely funded by the fundraisers they hold throughout the year and personal donations from my families and organizations.

On March 11 at 1 p.m., the Jay’s Hope Classic golf fundraiser will be held at Idle Hour Country Club. For more information on this event visit jayshope.org/classic.

Jay’s HOPE is dependent on their volunteer base. The organization is looking for individuals, organizations and third parties to help with fundraising and community events. For more information on how you can get involved visit jayshope.org or call 478-238-6360.