Youngster sacrifices birthday to raise cancer funds, awareness

For a second year, Jasmine Cobb, left, shown with her mother, Brooke, is asking for donations to the American Cancer Society instead of birthday presents.
Posted: Mar. 1, 2013 10:07 am Updated: Mar. 15, 2013 4:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Brooke Cobb is a proud mom, and it's easy to see why.

When her daughter, Jasmine, came to her a year ago with an idea that would honor her grandfather and raise money for the American Cancer Society, Brooke quickly realized how much passion drove the youngster's thought process.

"It touched my heart that she is willing to do something like this," Brooke said. "It was all her idea."

To honor her grandfather, Phillip Cobb, a cancer survivor, Jasmone decided to ask for donations -- rather than gifts -- for her birthday in 2012. The money would then be turned over to the Relay for Life of Adams County, which creates awareness about cancer and generates funds for research, community educational programs and support services related to the disease.

Jasmine and her family are doing the same thing this year. Jasmine, who will turn 11 on Saturday, is hosting a birthday party from 4 to 7 p.m. that day at the Good Samaritan Home Social Room, 2130 Harrison.

The public is invited to stop by the party or donate to Jasmine's Relay for Life team, which is named "Dancin' for a Cure -- Vancil Performing Arts Center."

"I (take part in the relay) because my grandpa is a colon cancer survivor," Jasmine said. "I want to help others by doing this. Getting rid of cancer is worth giving up my birthday."

A year ago, Jasmine's birthday effort raised $955, which was part of the $15,000 her Dancin' for a Cure team generated for the Relay for Life cause. This year's Relay for Life is scheduled for June 14 at Flinn Stadium in Quincy.

"I want to pack the room (on Saturday)," Jasmine said. "This is very special to me."

There will be refreshments, pizza, music -- and dancing, Jasmine said.

The Cobbs said any person or group unable to attend the birthday party can still help by donating to the cause. Donations can be sent to Jasmine at Vancil Performing Arts Center, 713 Ohio, Quincy, IL 62301. Checks should be made payable to Relay for Life of Adams County.

The 2012 Relay for Life raised $122,732, the second-highest total locally.

Since the first Relay for Life was held 19 years ago, participants have raised more than $1.6 million to fight cancer. In 2011, the event raised a record $160,000.

For more information on how to form a team, sign up for caregiver activities or volunteer to help with the Relay for Life, call Lindsay Nation at the American Cancer Society at (217) 523-4503, ext. 3, or visit the