Their lives were forever changed by a devastating disease, but through their pain, they have given back and changed many lives in return. Their dedication to supporting Wyoming families affected by childhood cancer exemplifies why Rocky and Lisa Eades have been chosen as the honorees for the 23rd Annual Awards and Recognition Breakfast hosted by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming. The breakfast will be held on Sept. 8, 2021, at the Ford Wyoming Center (formerly Casper Events Center).
In 1995, Rocky and Lisa Eades’ world turned upside down. It’s the year they were told their son Jason had cancer, the year that cancer stole their son, and the year that cancer changed their destiny as a couple and a family. Their grief moved them to make a difference for other families whose children suffer from cancer, brain tumors, or spinal cord tumors. They took the funds that had been donated to help their family when Jason was sick and used them to help other families pay for bills and keep financially afloat while their child was receiving treatment. This desire to help grew into what is now Jason’s Friends Foundation. Since its beginnings in the mid-1990’s, the organization has helped hundreds of Wyoming families totaling more than 5 million dollars. In addition, it hosts a yearly camp called Camp Courage for those same families to enjoy time together, network with other families, and talk about their challenges.
The Eades are proud parents to two grown daughters, Brooke and Skylar. The couple lives in Casper, where Rocky is a successful home builder, developer, and president of Eades Construction. Lisa is the Volunteer President/CEO of Jason’s Friends Foundation. She co-chairs the Wyoming Cancer Coalition, serves on the Wyoming Department of Health’s Institutional Review Board and on the Wyoming Palliative Care Advisory Council, appointed by Governor Matt Mead.
The Breakfast features six-time Olympic Gold Medal swimmer Amy Van Dyken-Rouen. At the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, Van Dyken became the first American female athlete to win four gold medals in a single Olympic game. She went on to compete in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, winning two more gold medals. She retired from swimming following the 2000 summer games and married former Denver Broncos punter Tom Rouen. In 2014, Van Dyken-Rouen was in an ATV accident in which she severed her spine, paralyzing her from the waist down. She is determined to be an example of what it looks like to live – not with a disability, but in spite of one.
The Breakfast is a culmination of the Annual Giving Campaign to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming. There is no cost to attend, but those in attendance are expected to make a meaningful contribution to support the Boys & Girls Clubs.