Family and Community Rallying Behind Jason Mueller Amidst Health Battles
Writer / Kevin Conrad
Center Grove High School (CGHS) 1994 graduate Jason Mueller is known as the Voice of the Trojans. Mueller’s voice has been heard over the public address system at Center Grove football, basketball and softball games for more than a decade. He is also a teacher who makes a difference in the lives of youth every day. He has taught fifth grade at West Grove and Sugar Grove, and is in his second year as the physical education teacher at Walnut Grove.
Mueller, 45, has been battling ulcerative colitis and pancreatitis for two years, and was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. Mueller needs surgery to have his colon and part of his pancreas removed. However, the surgery is on hold until he regains enough strength.
During these trying and difficult times, Mueller says his family has been incredibly supportive.
“I have an ‘A-plus’ family,” he says. “I wouldn’t be here without them. My wife Hannah takes care of me. She is not only my wife, but my in-home nurse and caretaker. She is a saint. My kids would do anything I ask of them. Both of our parents would be here at a moment’s notice if we needed them. I can’t say enough about the support I have from our families.”
The Center Grove community has provided Mueller and his family a helping hand as well.
“I cannot say enough about how the community has stood behind us and supported us through this whole ordeal,” Mueller says. “When I first got sick, my brother Ryan started a Plumfund page. I also had a meal train started. We turned it into a gift card train for Hannah as she drove back and forth from the hospital. She had gift cards to stop and grab a bite to eat, which took away the need for her to go home and make dinner. Hannah Sanders, Center Grove dance team assistant coach, started a GoFundMe page. Michele Coffey and Jake Stiles also started the #JasonStrong campaign. They have yard signs and apparel with the hashtag on it and the proceeds come directly to us. My wife started an Amazon Wish List of things we could use at the house to help.”
“Most recently, Erin Smith from Spotlight Strategies, and the coordinator of the Rock the Block run, told me they are dedicating this year’s event to me, and all proceeds will go to benefit us as well,” Mueller continues. “I will never be able to repay this community for what they have done for me.”
One of the many students Mueller has impacted through his teaching is Jovan Swann. A 2016 CGHS graduate, Swann helped the Trojans win a football state title in 2015 and just concluded his college football playing career – one year at Indiana University and four seasons at Stanford.
“Aside from my parents, there are not too many people that have taught me as many life lessons as my fifth-grade teacher,” Swann says. “Mr. Mueller has been one of a kind when it comes to influence and support over my many years being a student-athlete. I will never forget how helpful and supportive he has been to me from the days I stepped into his homeroom at West Grove, throughout my playing days at Center Grove, Stanford and Indiana, and now as I prepare for the NFL draft.”
“When it came to Friday nights, playing ball for Center Grove, I speak for my class of seniors and many others when I say this – the tone he set for the football games and the excitement he brought to the table are unrivaled,” Swann adds. “I hope and pray he recovers from the trouble his body is facing, and that he can get back to doing what he does best and loves to do.”
For more info on Mueller’s health journey, visit voiceofthetrojans.com.