Ava’s Army brings together the local community members and businesses in the fight for more Pediatric Leukemia research funding. To date, the nonprofit has contributed $100,000 to the cause and countless hours raising awareness—all inspired by Ava’s tireless determination to help others.
Fighting for better treatment
When he met Amanda Reinert through a mutual friend, Cyrus Jaffery started to learn that a family fighting childhood cancer was going through a lot more than what people see on the outside.
Reinert and her husband Brady are parents to Ava, the namesake to Ava’s Army. In March 2017, at age four, Ava was diagnosed with Leukemia and bravely underwent 800 days of treatment. While treatment was successful in ridding Ava’s cancer, she still experiences difficult short-term and long-term side effects.
Since completing her treatment in 2019, Ava has struggled with nerve damage and severe dental issues, side effects of the chemotherapy. Ava is also at a much higher risk of developing breast cancer and other secondary cancers.
Ava’s treatment plan relied on a 25-year-old Pediatric Leukemia protocol and not much different than treatment for adults. Which is why the Ava’s Army fight is focused on funding research for better pediatric cancer treatments.
This is especially needed in Ava’s home state of state of Nebraska, which ranks in the top 25% of pediatric cancer incidence rates in the United States and 6th in mortality rates. With a child in Nebraska diagnosed with cancer every four days, Ava’s Army is fighting their battle close to home.
Linking the community
Ava’s Army is made up of her tight-knit, and ever-growing, community of family and friends all marching toward a cure. One of those soldiers is Cyrus Jaffery. Committed to making a positive impact for Ava’s Army after meeting the Reinert family, he quickly got to work on featuring the nonprofit at the 2021 Jaffery Insurance golf tournament.
By the time they finished on the links, everyone knew Ava. “So many people heard about Ava’s Army. There was a buzz going around the community where everyone wanted to get involved and help the cause,” said Jaffery. “It was a surreal moment for our agency and to be able to help a cause so much bigger than life.”
“So many people heard about Ava’s Army. There was a buzz going around the community where everyone wanted to get involved and help the cause.”
-Cyrus Jaffery, Founder and CEO, Jaffery Insurance and Ava’s Army board member
All in for Ava
From the start, the agency has been all in on helping Ava’s Army in anyway they can. That includes attending The Sugar Plum Ball, an annual family-friendly holiday event featuring some of Ava’s favorite things like games and crafts, a photo booth and lots of dancing.
This summer, Ava will get to realize her dream to host a “color run,” a new event for the nonprofit. Participants will run through stations dousing them in different colored powder. At the finish line racers and supporters can jump in a bounce house, get their face painted and of course, dance with Ava.
In between events, Jaffery Insurance gives back to the nonprofit through their client referral program. Each time a client refers someone for a quote at the agency, $5 is donated to Ava’s Army and in all contributed $8,000 to the nonprofit last year.
“Cyrus brings a roll-your-sleeves-up attitude and lots of high energy to Ava’s Army board of directors. We’re lucky to have the support of Jaffery Insurance & Financial Services.”
– Amanda Reinert, Ava’s mom and founder of Ava’s Army
To date, Ava’s Army has donated $100,000 to research for St. Jude’s Hospital focusing on Car-T cell therapy research. This year they are preparing their donation for 2023 and have identified a research study focused on pediatric leukemia relapse patients.
Jaffery Insurance & Financial Services has been named a Make More Happen winner in recognition of their commitment to Ava’s Army. With the award comes a $5,000 donation and if this story receives at least 500 votes, Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance will donate another $5,000 to the nonprofit. Voting ends April 30, 2023.