Jiggy Ray’s, local musicians join to help child from region

Published 9:13 am Monday, July 18, 2016


Photo Contributed Smiling ear to ear, Cash, far right, and the rest of the Hicks family pose for a recent portrait.

Photo Contributed
Smiling ear to ear, Cash, far right, and the rest of the Hicks family pose for a recent portrait.

Much like songs of the South, it is more than just about the music – there’s also stories to be told.
In the case of two-year-old Cash Hicks, son of Andy and Katie Hicks from Jonesborough, his story has brought out an overwhelming amount of support from across the country.
The Washington County native has seen his fair share of battles at such a young age, according to his mother, Katie.
“Cash was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neroblastoma on July 3 and we flew to Memphis on July 4,” she told the Elizabethton Star on Friday while with her family at St. Judes Children’s Hospital. “He has completed his first round of chemo, we don’t know the effectiveness of it yet as we have not had more scans, but the doctors here are very optimistic.”
Once the journey started for Cash, it took the work family to provide some light for the encouragement with music of the heartbreaker himself, Tom Petty.
“A friend of the family, Mick Kyte, is a local musician and plays regularly at Jiggy Ray’s,” Katie said. “He had another friend of his, James Meadows, play the song, “I Won’t Back Down”, to Cash. It just blew up from there with people from all over the Tri-Cities and the U.S. sending him videos.”
Jiggy Ray’s, which features a bevy of local talent performing at their downtown establishment in Elizabethton was quick to take up the effort to help spread the word of the #cashstrong movement.
“As you guys know, we have always tried to support local musicians as much as possible,” the eatery placed on their Facebook account online. “If you are a musician and want to make someone’s life a little better, please record yourself singing Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” and post it to Jiggy Ray’s Facebook page.”
The Hicks family are not asking for any funds throughout Cash’s journey with the smile on their son’s face from all the support makes everything worthwhile, Katie said.
“It’s amazing to have all the support from home,” she said. “It’s a very scary situation being so far from home with a sick child, but when you have such an outpouring of support … it makes it a little easier to cope. It gives you a better sense that no matter what happens, we have people behind us to help.
“Jiggy’s got involved when Mick Kyte told them about Cash. It’s incredible to me that they have taken on such a huge role in supporting a child in their community. I can’t wait to meet the owners and thank them in person.”
Katie went on thank the region as a whole for the #cashstrong movement.
“There are really no words to express our appreciation for what everyone is doing for Cash,” she said. “He’s only two so he doesn’t quite get the magnitude of what is happening, but his eyes light up when he sees these videos. That in itself helps his Dad and me to deal with the day-to-day stresses of the situation. We will never be able to thank everyone enough.
Local musicians looking to spread some musical cheer to Cash can post a recording of the song to Facebook with #cashstrong in the title and share it to the Jiggy Ray’s or Cashstrong Facebook pages.

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