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September 8, 2011

ULM's Raborn awarded $20,000 grant from Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Louisiana

The University of Louisiana at Monroe's Staci Raborn knows all about paying it forward, and now she has $20,000 more to support her foundation for families facing pediatric cancer.

In August, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Louisiana announced Raborn, a Pre K-Four instructor at the ULM Child Development Center, as an Angel Award winner for 2011.

"I'm very honored and humbled to receive the award," Raborn said. "I'm glad that the money will be able to help so many other families."

Seven men and women from across Louisiana won the accolade and a $20,000 grant for each one's chosen charity because of their superior volunteer service on children's behalf.

Raborn's charity, the Jake Owen Raborn Foundation, will use the funds to help families defray medical expenses incurred by caring for children with pediatric cancer.

The subject is one that is especially poignant for Raborn and husband, Don.

After being diagnosed with a rare liver cancer known as hepatoblastoma, their son, Jake, received a cycle of treatments for over two years from world-recognized specialists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis.

In all, Jake underwent 857 days of treatment, 20 rounds of chemotherapy and 15 rounds of radiation.

He also had 11 major procedures, including three lung surgeries, two for his brain and one for his liver. In spite of his courageous fight, Jake died in 2006 at the age of four.

Shortly after, the family won an unexpected $4.31 million due to an impromptu stop at the Horseshoe Casino in Shreveport, and recognized an opportunity to help other families going through the ordeal of pediatric cancer. The Jake Owen Raborn Foundation was born.

For more information about the Jake Owen Raborn Foundation, or to donate, visit

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