Tampa man raises money for child with cancer by using unconventional invention, 'Zambabi'

Posted at 3:04 PM, Apr 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-05 10:28:17-04

Three-year-old Jase Snevely is part toddler, part super hero.

"He did 6 rounds of chemo, 2 stem cell transplants, 8 weeks of radiation,” says his dad Mike Snevely.  "During that time he had to be intubated a couple of times, because his lungs were collapsing after he got an infection... it’s been a scary road so far."

Jase has Stage Four neuroblastoma.

The Snevely family lives in Colorado now.  They moved there from Chicago for Jase’s treatments.  As you can imagine, medical bills are piling up and the Snevely family has been trying to keep up, but now they are getting help from complete strangers.

“There is a lot of financial debt associated with it and we are just trying to dig them out of that debt,” says Bobby Quinn who lives in Tampa.

It’s an interesting story how the Quinns and the Snevelys were linked up. Bobby met Jase’s uncle while he was in the Air Force, working at MacDill Air Force Base. Once Jase’s uncle told Bobby the story, he immediately wanted to help. Especially since Bobby’s son is about the same age as Jase.

So, what started out as a replica mini, ice cleaner for his son’s Halloween costume, has turned into a couple appearances on the ice with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The “Zambabi” as they call it is now doing more than raising awareness for childhood cancer…it’s now helping to raise money.

The Zambabi now has 17 signatures from the Tampa Bay Lightning players and its just one of the many auction items on the online auction to raise money for Jase. 

Here’s where you come in. The online raffle runs through Sunday. Sunday is the Lightning’s last regular season home game. Put in $5 per item to try your luck at winning something. But even if you don’t, all the money goes to helping Jase, which was Bobby’s mission from the beginning.

“This has all been worth it,” says Bobby. “It was worth it even without coming out here and now this has gone way further than I ever thought.”

As for Bobby’s son, he says he will miss the Zambabi, but he understands that giving it up just might help save a life.

To donate directly to COTA for Jase's medical bills:

Here is the raffle info if you want the chance to win something: