From an early age, Jason Wexler showed an interest in curing cancer and would even make "potions," according to his mother, Sherri. An extrovert like his father, Kevin, Jason has always liked making a difference for others and has great ideas to share.
When he turned sixteen, the sophomore at The Grauer School in Encinitas knew he wanted to do something to help give back. Jason learned about the "Students of the Year" program for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and knew he had to get involved.
He was initially interested in joining a team but instead of just joining one, he took the initiative and decided to form his own. Named "Answer For Cancer," the team includes 28 mostly fellow musical theatre students Jason recruited from his classes and other schools. As a creative way to raise money, his team used the theatre as a “stage” to fundraise. They held musical performances where they offered raffle prizes and also solicited local businesses for sponsorships.
In their first year (2018) they raised $36,000 and came in second place. In 2019, the team doubled its goal and raised $72,000 for a two-year total of over $100,000. Due to his efforts, time and leadership, Jason was one of the San Diego Jewish Teen Initiative's 18 Under 18 Award recipients. He also was one of two who were awarded the Peter Chortek Leadership Award by the San Diego Jewish Community Foundation.
For Jason, this work is personal. “When it really hit close to home for me was when our family friend Ella told me her father had passed away from lymphoma,” said Jason. “I just knew that I could help and use my background and talents to fight cancer.”
It has also been a family effort with older sister Talia, not only helping fundraise but also performing. Sherri Wexler said the program brought out and showcased the leadership qualities in her son off the stage. “Jason has always looked to make the world a better place and put an end to suffering,” said Sherri. “And I have witnessed his personal growth through this experience.”
Jason’s 2021 Answer For Cancer team includes: Canyon Crest Academy (Alara, Allison, Caroline, Connor, Danielle, Elizabeth, Emily, Kourosh, Marc, Mia, Nika, Payton, Sofia, Zeyna); Cathedral Catholic High School (Colleen); Francis Parker School (Talia); Mission Bay High School (Kai); Mt. Carmel High School (Alicia); Pacific Ridge (Gibson, Stella); The Grauer School (Jason, Gabriel); Torah High School (Natalie); Torrey Pines High School (Audrey, Gianna); University City High School (Rachael) and Westview High School (Katie, Shira).