66ºF

Tom Coughlin Jay Fund tailgating party held to support families

Jags chose foundation as one of their cancer awareness initiatives

photo

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – More than 40 children are diagnosed with cancer every day in the U.S. Their families are faced with unthinkable circumstances.

The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation does what it can to be there for those families. While the Jacksonville Jaguars will be playing inside TIAA Bank Field, some say the real stars will be playing inside the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund tailgating party.

"We have a day off from cancer for 52 families, about 200 people, who are not only celebrating the Jags, but to take some time off from cancer with a great tailgate party," said Richard Naylor, with the foundation.

photo

This year marks the 23rd year the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation has been providing support to local Jacksonville families facing the unthinkable.

"They are tackling childhood cancer right now," Naylor said. "Some are going through active treatment. Some are going through recovery."

In remission is 11-year-old Alyssa Vest.

"I'm always happy," Alyssa said.

"She has histiocytosis. It's a rare, blood disorder cancer," said her mother, Jamie Vest.

Sunday allowed Alyssa's family to take a break from reality, even if it's just for just a moment.

"Football toss, corn hole, giant Jenga," Naylor said.

photo

After the tailgate party, the families headed over to the Bank, where they were allowed on the field before the game to receive recognition.

"It's very fun," Alyssa said.

The Jags have chosen the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation as one of their cancer awareness initiatives, which is part of the NFL's expanded efforts to support cancer awareness.