13 Year-Old Boy Launches His Own Nonprofit To Teach Kids With Cancer To Fish
Jake Klopfenstein is a 13 year-old boy from Florida who is doing something wonderful for children who have cancer by teaching them how to fish.
Fishing is one of Jake’s biggest passions in life, so when he decided he wanted to help kids who have cancer, this is the first thing that popped into his mind. That’s why he launched the nonprofit Angling for Relief, which takes children with cancer out on fishing trips.
Jake was inspired to do this after watching one of his best friends named Ryan die from Ewing’s sarcoma as a young child. The friend spent quite a lot of time out of school as he was hospitalized to get treatment.
“He would say to me, ‘Mom, Ryan didn’t even get to go fishing. He was going through such a horrible battle with cancer and he didn’t even get to go fishing and enjoy the last couple of years of his life,”’ said Jake’s mom Toni. “So we got our brains together and came up with Angling For Relief.”
Jake thinks that fishing and battling cancer go hand-in-hand because they both involve a lot of patience. On top of that, fishing is the perfect distraction from the stress of fighting cancer.
“It’s relaxing. It’s being out in nature,” Toni said. “They’re not thinking about ‘Oh, I have cancer.’ They’re outside, near the water.”
Jake’s nonprofit gives fishing poles to children battling cancer in pediatric wards and teaches them “dry fishing,” or casting the lines from their hospital beds. In addition, Jake and Toni take children who are physically able to leave the hospital on real life fishing trips.
Find out more about Jake’s mission in the video below!