Triumph Over Kid Cancer is dedicated to raising money to help find a cure for cancers that attack children and teenagers.

James was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer, at the age of 13 in June of 2006. Since then, James and his sister, Mecklin, have worked towards fundraising to research new treatments in an attempt to help support the Search For A Cure. Both James and Mecklin have seen first-hand how cancer affects both the patients and their families. But more importantly, they have seen that a simple thing like HOPE can raise you from all lows. And that hope is in the collaborative research for new treatments.

TOKC - James Ragan Video

James A Ragan; excerpts from Living Legends

/ October 29, 2010


CORPUS CHRISTI — James A. Ragan, who threw anti-cancer fundraising toga parties even as the malignancy ravaged his body, and who took research purse string holders to task for marginalizing unprofitable pediatric cancers, died late Monday night. He was 20.

He died having lived seven years with a cancer that kills most people by the fifth year after diagnosis. As of 2013, his foundation had garnered more than $1 million to figure out how to stop it.

The MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston gave him an unprecedented honor in 2012, naming him its special ambassador.

That year, Ragan sent ripples through Texas medical research circles when he publicly told a state board that funds cancer research that it was putting too much emphasis on the moneymaking potential of drugs when it decided which grants to fund.

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas controls the nation’s second-largest pot of cancer funding behind only the federal National Institutes of Health.

Ragan’s comments came before the full scope of ethics problems at the institute was known. Reports and audits in 2012 and 2013 revealed that three awards totaling more than $56 million did not follow proper procedures, disclosures that led to the resignations of the agency’s three top officials and a moratorium on grants that lasted 10 months.

The agency’s former chief commercialization officer, Jerald “Jerry” Cobbs, was indicted in 2012 in Travis County on a charge of securing the execution of a document by deception related to an $11 million grant awarded in 2010.

The agency has since adopted new ethics rules as it attempts to restore credibility. Embarrassment for CPRIT mounted as a wave of top scientists from around the country severed ties with the agency.

Ragan was diagnosed at 13 with osteosarcoma, one of only about 400 cases of pediatric bone cancer nationwide each year. Doctors reconstructed part of his leg and knee with metal and he relearned walking. They removed parts of his lungs and repeatedly assaulted his body with chemotherapy. The five-year survival rate for the cancer is 20 percent.

He threw a toga party for his 14th birthday, asked guests to donate $50 and gave the money to research. The idea, born of his affinity for the epic college frat comedy “Animal House,” ballooned into a full-fledged foundation, Triumph Over Kid Cancer.

In an interview in May 2013, shortly after Ragan had what he called a “bad scan,” showing that his cancer wasn’t responding well, he said that his ordeal had taught him the truth at the center of the cliché: live life to the fullest. He said he learned that it didn’t mean going out to live new adventures, becoming an ascetic, or doing anything out of the ordinary. Instead, it meant doing the ordinary better than he had ever done: Devoting complete attention to people during conversations, fundraising, studying, playing golf.

“And if you’re going to party,” he grinned, “party to the fullest.”

During periods in the hospital, he went on what he called “radio silence,” turning his phone off, disconnecting from the world. Those experiences motivated his push for more research.

“When you’re at MD Anderson or any cancer hospital ... you look to the left or the right of you and you see a lot of people who are a lot worse off,” he said. “You really do. I’ve had that exact same feeling since the beginning. Yeah, my story is sad — doesn’t seem to be getting any better — but at the same time I’m incredibly fortunate. I beat the five-year survival rate ... When you think about that, it’s kind of a privilege to me to get to do the work that I’ve done, to have been blessed to have made a small impact, and to continue working toward it to represent a lot of friends and family and people who haven’t made it as far as I did.”

The economics of cancer research repulsed him. He understood that he and other young people would die, in some sense having been left on their own, because pediatric bone cancer is so rare it gives corporations little incentive to pursue treatments and cures. But he drew on intense support from his father, an attorney, his mother, a nurse who quit work to take care of him, and his sister, who skipped college graduation ceremonies to attend one of his toga parties.

“It takes a lot more energy to sit around and get mad about it than to go out and do something,” he said.

When Ragan appeared before the Texas cancer-fighting agency’s board, he was blunt. He told members that when they make funding choices, they should remember his face. Article
'Pediatric cancer activist dead at 20'

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TOKC Founder's 8th Grade Interview

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Cole Frazier supports TOKC on and off the field!

TOKC thanks our friend, Nicholls State football player Cole Frazier for supporting TOKC by wearing his orange band on and off the field! Go get em Cole!

TOKC gives A BIG Thanks for a generous donation

A BIG Thanks to the Texas Legends Junior Tour and the Texas Golf Association Foundation, especially David Prinz, Kellen Kubasak, and Hallie Cochran, for their generous donation of $2,500.00 presented to TOKC at the Jackie Burke Cup Awards Banquet!

Our hearts and our prayers go out to the family of Julia Cobb

Our hearts and our prayers go out to the family of Julia Cobb as she passed away today from pediatric bone cancer. She had a warm heart and a beautiful smile that captivated and inspired so many friends and supporters of the #Jucan nation.

Windsor Park Student Council donates to Triumph Over Kid Cancer Foundation

The Student Council at Windsor Park Elementary have generously donated the proceeds left over from their Valentine's Day Carnation Sale, to the Triumph Over Kid Cancer Foundation, a non-profit organization founded in 2010 that raises money for pediatric cancer research. Thanks to a cooperative agreement with M.D. Anderson, the donation will be matched dollar for dollar, and will support new research into treatments for cancers that affect children. A check for $1500 was presented by Student Council President Genevieve Cox, Vice President Jeffrey Zhu, and Council Member Eli Susser to TOKC founders and Windsor Park alumni, James A. Ragan and Mecklin Ragan.

For more information about the Triumph Over Kid Cancer Foundation you can visit their website at or check out their Facebook page.

Ella Frischhertz raises awareness and funds for TOKC!

Ella Frischhertz, a 3rd grader at The Academy of the Sacred Heart school in New Orleans, went around her neighborhood collecting donations for TOKC. She raised $86! And her parents were so impressed by her initiative, that they matched what she raised! Thank you for your help and support Ella!

Congratulations Mr. Susser

TOKC and Its Board of Directors Congratulates friend and ambassador to kids with cancer Sam E. Susser on his Bar Mitzvah!

Congratulations Mr. Susser

Co-Founder James Ragan has been asked to serve on The Board of Directors for the Sunshine Kids

Co-Founder James RaganTriumph Over Kid Cancer Foundation is proud to announce a new chapter in its relationship with the Sunshine Kids. After being diagnosed with osteosarcoma at the age of 13 in 2006, our co-founder, James Ragan, took many trips with the Sunshine Kids, and learned first-hand the benefits that this organization gives to children. As he got older and his cancer metastasized and worsened, he continued to participate in Sunshine Kids events, but also gave back to the organization by being one of their national spokeskids in 2009. Recently, the Sunshine Kids asked James to make an even greater commitment to children with cancer by serving on the Board of Directors for the Sunshine Kids. James has gladly agreed, and looks forward to the opportunity to help the Sunshine Kids in their efforts to improve the lives of children with cancer. He plans to do everything possible to help Sunshine Kids give young cancer patients the strength, hope and attitude to carry on their fight against this dreaded disease.




(Click to read)
/ August 30, 2012

Friends & Family giving blood in support of our Founder James!


Please help us in welcoming our newest Board Member Charles A. Hicks


Charles A. Hicks

Charlie "Cha-Cha" Hicks proudly joined the TOKC Board of Directors in 2012 at the request of the foundation's founder, James Ragan. Sharing golf as a passion, Cha-Cha and James have developed a friendship that crosses generational lines with both gaining perspective from each other during their rides together on the golf course. Cha-Cha serves as Dealer Principal for his family's automotive operations in Corpus Christi, representing Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, and Infiniti franchises. The Hicks family is committed to the Coastal Bend community and dedicates their time and resources to enriching the lives of its citizens through education and economic growth. Cha-Cha has served in leadership positions of several area organizations including the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay and the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation. Nissan and Mercedes-Benz dealers in the United States have elected Cha-Cha to serve as their representative on their respective National Dealer Advisory Boards to foster the partnership between the manufacturers and their dealer network.

While attending the University of Texas in Austin, Cha-Cha met his lovely bride Susan (Crow) and they relocated to Corpus Christi after their graduations in 1984 and marriage in 1985. They have a beautiful daughter Hannah who also graduated from the University of Texas in Austin and is now pursuing a degree in Culinary Arts from the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Academy in California.

Houston Chronicle Acknowledges Founders Efforts

(Click to read)
/ August 20, 2012

Letter from the Founder


This is the belt buckle that I designed for the very first toga party back in 2007. The background is the actual image of microscopic osteosarcoma cells which have been magnified. The middle figure is a tree trunk to represent the strength of life overcoming cancer. Finally, it is inscribed with the word Triumph to symbolize my hope for the future. We chose to also use this symbol as part of our logo to emphasize the need to continue our research efforts. Buckles can be purchased in our store and please wear it often to keep in mind the need to fight kid cancer.

Your help makes every dream of conquering cancer closer to reality.

James and Mecklin

James Presenting the James A Ragan Sportsmanship Award at the Jackie Burke Cup in Absentia

The Pain Of Childhood Cancer