Usually human beings get to live long lives. I’m going to be forty-nine in June, Yannick will be forty-nine in May, both of us still have our parents on both sides, and by the grace of God all of our siblings. Our siblings have their spouses. We have our kids, and all our siblings have theirs. We’re extremely fortunate that this is our reality. On top of that, we’re all healthy…so far, so good.
In some cases, we read about people, unworthy sorts like Charles Manson, who get to live long lives, longer than what one might consider average, and then I get pissed off for those whom I’ve met along the way, like sweet, brave, wonderful, innocent Jadyn who only got fifteen years on this earth. Of which nine and a half were spent, literally fighting for her life. Yet she was always joyful, she was infectiously hopeful, generous of spirit and support for other kids living with cancer. All the while being one of the greatest ambassadors, giving of herself tirelessly to encourage people to give their money for research of children’s cancers.
She was worthy. She was valuable. She was doing great work. So why her? Why did she have to suffer so much, and leave so soon?
Every time I saw her, or thought of her I would pray, beg, and plead that the universe would give her the miracle she was so deserving of. But finally, last fall, the news came that her latest tumor wasn’t responding to treatment anymore. This was a devastating blow, since she had reached the maximum number of times any living being could undergo chemotherapy, there was nothing more they could do for her. Not the maximum amount of times a child could be radiated…the maximum number of times that anybody is medically allowed to receive radiation.
Every time we saw her, whether the doctors had just put in a new port, that was causing her pain, or if her foot, which was prone to infections was making walking difficult, Jadyn was always upbeat. Taking her life of living with pain in stride. Her fortitude of character is something that will remain with me, always. If she could be dealing with so much every single day and still finding ways to not only be upbeat, but to encourage other children around her also involved in the fights of their lives, to be hopeful, than how much more should I, of able body be doing? The answer for me will always be more, much, much, more.
So now those of us who are working to bring awareness to the need that more must be done for finding solutions for childhood cancers, by raising research money, while simultaneously helping them live better lives, also carry the spirit of Jadyn within us. Although we no longer have her fighting along side us in the flesh, we will definitely always and forever carry her in our hearts. In fact, I wholeheartedly believe that she is up there right now having pow wows with the big guy to tell him what needs to get done down here on earth to eradicate the lives being cut way too short by this awful disease, such was her attitude and confidence of spirit.
Jadyn, you beautiful, brave warrior, may you watch down from your place on high, that you so rightly deserve, and know that your fight, and your sacrifice were not in vain. You have my commitment to continue to fight and help bring an end to children’s cancers. I will continue to fight for it as if you were still side by side in the flesh fighting along side all of us, like you did for nearly a decade.
Rest now rock star angel, until we meet again.