Jacked Up for Jackson raises money for boy with seizures
SALEM – Five-year-old Jackson Nelson took time out from chasing after sisters Hannah and Haylee to get up close to the big, blue Baja Claws truck parked behind his granddaddy’s house.
“See my car?” he asked, as he held out a toy and compared it to the 46-inch-high 1976 Ford that Dustin Seacrist brought. It was one of a half-dozen monster trucks, classic pickups and cars being shown off at the Jacked Up for Jackson show on Aug. 4.
The modest show was to raise $775, the first step to get Jackson in the door of Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore. That’s where his parents, Stephanie and Doug Nelson, hope doctors can find out how to help Jackson’s seizure disorder.
The family doesn’t have private medical insurance to cover their son, and his Virginia Premier coverage – a form of Medicaid for kids – isn’t accepted at Johns Hopkins, his mother said.
The show was behind his grandfather Tim Rossiter’s home in Wabun, close to the Red Barn Antiques.
Dustin Seacrist of Seacrist Motor Sports in Salem said he brought his truck because “Stephanie called me and told me they were doing a benefit for Jackson. I wanted to come out and raise a little money for him.”
Frank Nave of Cave Spring didn’t know the family, but after reading about Jackson in that morning’s newspaper, gassed up his crimson 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville and took it to the show.
“It used to be pink-and-white before,” said Nave, who has owned the Caddy for almost four years. “I tried to get the biggest fins I could find,” he joked, patting the car’s distinctive back side.
Voting for best vehicle was by spectator ballot.
A jacked-up Ford Excursion, the Cadillac, a GMC pickup and Seacrist’s Baja Claws were among the favorites vying for first, second and third-place trophies.
Just about everybody who turned out on that almost-90-degree day made donations, bought food and soft drinks, and admired the vehicles.
The real winner was Jackson and his family, though. The little boy who will be a kindergarten student at South Salem Elementary now has a whole lot more friends who know about him and who are willing to help what family friends like Jennifer Flowers helped start.
Stan Seymour, owner of the Bojangles Famous Chicken restaurant in Salem and Cave Spring, is donating through his charity, RoBo Cares, Flowers pointed out. “Bojangles donated $4,000 worth of food,” she said. “He’s doing an awesome job,” added Flowers, who said she worked for Seymour when she was a teenager, at his West Main Street Bojangles. RoBo Cares is also helping raise money for Andrew Lewis Middle School student A.J. Leffler who has a brain tumor.
Jackson’s mom said people who want to donate toward getting medical care for her son may donate at www.www.giveforward.com/jacksonscause or by sending checks to the family at 1431 Haydon St. Salem, VA 24153. The family plans to set up a bank fund soon, she said.