Jagger Melander’s Story

Jagger Melander in spring 2024, close to the end of his treatment.

On Mother’s Day 2022, Mammoth local Jagger Melander was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) at only four years old. Jagger’s mom, Allana, a cancer survivor herself and a prior beneficiary of the Cancer Outreach Fund, reached out ahead of the 20th annual Brian Venneman Cancer Outreach Golf Tournament to express her gratitude to the fund’s donors. “There is no way to properly say thank you,” Allana said. “It’s because of you that my son is going to live.”

Jagger, who loves board games, the Spiderman universe, and playing with his big brother, has to drive with his mom to Sacramento every week for treatment, and Allana says the Cancer Outreach Fund has made it possible for her, a single mom of two, to pull it off.  

“I don’t have to wonder how I am going to find a hotel that I can afford, I can just do it because the Cancer Outreach Fund enables me to.”

When Jagger was first diagnosed, Allana was completely overwhelmed, but said that the team at Mammoth Hospital immediately stepped up to help her. She was especially grateful to RN Case Manager Mona Logan. “Mona just said, ‘We’ve got this,’ and I just sent her all my receipts and she handled reimbursement for me.”

Allana gave the Mammoth Hospital Foundation an update on Jagger in May of this year as he prepared to graduate from kindergarten to first grade. He had some tough complications this March and wound up hospitalized with pneumonia, but Allana said he’s turned a corner and, “God willing, his last day of treatment should be November 9.”

She says Jagger is a “soccer freak” and she has to argue with him every evening to get him to come inside for dinner and quit kicking the ball.

“I’m just amazed that we’ve made it this far,” she says. “No matter what, come hell or high water, we’ve gotten him to his treatment.”

“Other places don’t have programs like this,” says Allana. “I’ve seen the struggles that other families are going through, and I feel so overly blessed that this program exists to help us.”

Allana and Jagger wanted the donors to the Cancer Outreach Program to know what a difference their generosity has made to them and to other families like theirs. “Without this program, I don’t even know if I would have a place to live anymore,” said Allana. “This program has kept my family afloat.”