Mom of 5 With 3-Year-Old Battling Cancer Gets Nasty Note Slamming Her Messy 'Eyesore' of a House

Randa Ragland

A mom from Pinson, Alabama, is thanking members of her community who were quick to rally behind her after a neighbor left an anonymous note telling her to to clean up her "eyesore" of a home. Randa Ragland told CBS 42 that the letter came at a particularly tough period of time for her family, too: Her 3-year-old son Jaxen, who has autism and is nonverbal, was recently diagnosed with cancer. That's why she's now thanking the 30 strangers who came to her home after she posted the note online, and offered to clean up her yard.

  • Ragland was shocked when she received the nasty letter, which came with no return address or signature.

    “Your eyesore is affecting the resale value of our homes,” it read. “Who wants to buy a house near you and look at that daily? It does not take that much effort, all you have to do is give a [expletive]. Do better!!!"

    "I opened it and it was pretty much [the sender] shaming me for my yard,” the mom explained to CBS 42. "At first, I felt a little angry. But so much has been going on with us and our family. I just didn’t have the energy to be negative."

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  • Ragland's son, Jaxen, has stage 4 neuroblastoma, a form of cancer that has been taking up all of her time and attention for months.

    The little boy was diagnosed in October 2018, just days before his third birthday. And as if that wasn't enough to be concerned with, Ragland is also the mother of four other children. So, yeah -- simply put, the state of her front yard is the least of her worries. 

    "Our lives consist of doctors visits. And clinic appointments," Ragland wrote in a private Facebook post, which was then shared publicly by her friend, Kimberly Quick Davis. "Then we do hospital stays. For chemo and transplants. And surgeries. My son has literally been fighting for his life."

  • All told, Jaxen has been in the hospital more than 20 times since last fall, and has endured more than seven surgeries. 

    "He is truly the bravest person I know," the loving mom explained.

    Which is why, she continued, she would normally be "so angry from this note." But her son's illness has put things into perspective, to say the least. 

    Ragland ultimately decided to share the story in hopes it somehow encourages others to be kinder to their neighbors -- but little did she know that strangers from across her own community would do way more than just pay attention to her message.

  • On August 3, dozens of volunteers showed up at Ragland's house, armed with lawn tools and donations for her boy.

    The mother's post had clearly touched the hearts of many, who -- unbeknownst to her -- had teamed up to create the Facebook page Jaxen’s Army for Justice, where they planned to surprise her with help.

    Yahoo! Lifestyle reports that the strangers even collected donations for Jaxen before they gathered at her house on Saturday. Once there, they helped her with household chores, yard maintenance, and mowing the lawn. 

    “They started this group for my son,” Ragland told the outlet. “It is wonderful knowing people do still care, and that not every one is self-absorbed ... It is so awesome that it has happened. No one should go through this alone."

    Even days later, the mom of five is stunned by the kindness of others.

    “I’m in amazement. I’m still in shock," she told CBS 42. “I don’t have a large family. My mom is gone, my dad is gone, my brother is gone, so this means a lot.”

    Loved ones and kind strangers are also helping to raise money for the family through a GoFundMe page that's been set up to manage Jaxen's mounting medical bills. So far, the page has raised more than $8,000 of its $10,000 goal.