BROWNSBURG, Ind. – "Everybody loves hot chocolate, especially on a cold day like today,” said 17-year-old Jake Anders while sitting next to a heater inside the tent of his hot chocolate stand. "It’s one heck of a cold day!”
Even warmer than the drinks is the person serving it. And even sweeter than the chocolate is his reason for being there.
“His bones were grinding into each other," Anders said about his father. "It would cause permanent damage if he didn’t get the knee surgery.”
Anders is raising money for his dad, a truck driver who has to have knee surgery. The recovery will take him away from work for at least six weeks.
"He’s the main person who makes... who brings home the money,” Anders said
“Oh it makes me proud,” Jeff Anders said of his son's fundraiser. "I didn't know anything about it until yesterday evening when I finally started reading Facebook.”
Seeing Jake out there was a surprise for Jeff Anders, especially considering the news his son received less than a year ago.
“It was December 12 of last year," said Jeff, the date imprinted on his mind. "We went to Riley. They pretty much gave him three to six months.”
Originally diagnosed with a brain tumor just before the age of 12, Jake’s cancer returned last year. This time, the tumor was inoperable. But still, Jake was thinking of others.
“He is one of the most giving kids, always has been," said Jake's mother Amy Anders. "He just has a great big heart and always wants to help people.”
With support from his community and his faith, Jake has persevered. Now in a clinical trial, his tumor is starting to shrink.
"Hopeful," Jake said with a smile. "It makes me feel hopeful.”
Jake is taking that hopeful spirit and spreading it to others, helping his family any way he can, and with a cold winter like day, what a better way to spread warmth than a cup of hot chocolate.
“He always has a positive attitude and says 'it is what it is,'" Amy said. "He’s my hero.”
Jake will be out selling his hot chocolate and cookies again on Saturday Nov. 10 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. His sale is being held at a neighbor’s garage sale located at 14 S. Tocovi Ct. Brownsburg, IN. 46112
You can also donate to Jake's cause through this GoFundMe.