Blog

Billy Joel’s lyric, “only the good die young” applies to our sweet Jadyn.

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.

 

9 Comments

  1. She lives on because she lives in your hearts. What a wonderful gift she gave. I am always in awe of those who are suffering but somehow continue to give of themselves, especially those who are so very, very young.

    Thank you for sharing Jadyn’s journey with us.

    Thank you, Jadyn.

  2. I’m so sorry the world has lost such a strong, beautiful soul. I’m praying for her, her family, and for all whose lives were touched by her spirit.

    When I was still nursing, I marveled at the courage so many of my patients possessed. Their courage, humor, positivity, and strength were what buoyed me, though, to keep showing up every shift, to keep tending to my patients and their families (most of my career was spent in pediatrics, followed by critical adult care — think transplant/cardio-pulmonary patients with looking hospital stays). Even though many of my patients suffered from illnesses that limited their lives/lifespans and broke my heart, it was their spirits that made the hard days easier, that brought up MY spirit so I could tend to them and the next patient. I always said the greatest gift of nursing was the shared energy because it was exponential. Once you were given a bit of energy from a patient, your heart grew and you were able to share that with the next patient, which helped grow their heart as well as yours. It was like that throughout the shift and continued to expand even after you returned home. I don’t think I was ever better as a human being than when I was an RN.

    For each and every Jadyn we encounter in our lives, we are made better people. It’s unfair to lose such beautiful souls, but they live on through us as we navigate this world. We share with others the joy and positivity they’ve shared with us. It’s that exponential energy thing I mentioned earlier. It’s a gift we’ve been given from those extraordinary angels we’ve been fortunate enough to meet.

  3. What an amazing tribute to our dear friend, hero and Warrior Princess Jadyn. I know her Mom and family will cherish this loving blog post. You and Yannick are gifts to this world and champions to all cancer kids. Xo

  4. My heart goes out to Jayden’s family and friends. Such a warrior! God rest her soul! I’m so sorry for your loss!

  5. A Beautiful Beautiful tribute. I wish I had known her. These children dealing with such a debilitating disease amaze me with their strength. We have had an automatic monthly payment to St Jude’s for the past 25 years. It’s not a huge amount but if we can encourage others to do whatever they can, perhaps the research will finally eliminate this horrible disease so no other angel will have to go through what Jadyn did. God Bless you and Yannick for adding such joy to her too short life

  6. Jadyn seems like a wonderful, warm soul, a good person in every sense of the term.
    And as they say, no good thing ever dies.
    Jadyn’s spirit is immortal and will resonate forever through those she touched.

  7. Can imagine this beautiful piece about such a brave woman/child took a very long time to write what with the intense emotion and tears that must have gone with it.
    The unanswerable question…but Jadyn actually lived the answer…never giving up and helping others through. It is the only answer.

  8. God bless Jadyn for her absolute positive outlook which obviously touched not only yours and Yannick’s lives but many others too. It is her legacy along with memories you have of her inimitable spirit. As a nurse, I cared for many children over 4 years who didn’t live out what should have been their right to a long life. Because of cancers, heart diseases, heart defects, chronic diseases, inherited abnormalities of the body, their lives were not going to be as long as they, they parents and other loved ones wanted. I gave much thought about this question which you’ve asked in this essay as to the why of it. Why do these wonderful children have to die when they do? My conclusion for what it’s worth is this: In our lives both children and adults have an impact on how we view our own lives, even how we relate to the world, other people and even nature. I believe without a doubt these unforgettable children give us, without knowing so, a new perspective in some way. Their death even though very sad, gives purpose to our lives in a most wonderful way. You explain this in the end of your comments that Jadyn has given you even more determination to support those efforts to end childhood cancers. Her presence will accompany you as you live out your years. That is what her life was about – not her leaving our earth but her living in it. As a nurse, I remember a few children who received my care and who didn’t live. Girls like Sheila who loved fall leaves which I took to her room as she slowly had her cancer weaken her body but not her spirit. I remember her look of delight as I’d bring her a new fall leaf when I worked a shift and propped them up on the window sill of her room. So, every fall I take extra time to look at the falling leaves, often photographing them and have never forgotten her. Another girl, Lisa, of only 10, who near the end of her days was strong enough to plan every detail of her funeral including what the school children would sing in her memory. She had been my patient several years prior and as she wanted not to be in hospital at the end of her life, “no more needles” was her request, her mom & dad & she also asked me to be with them on her last afternoon. She had a strong faith and with one of her last breaths, she said, “I see God.” It gave her mom and dad such comfort for the days which followed. For myself too, it reinforced my own faith in a Supreme Power. Those are just two examples of what these young girls have added to my life. Such gifts which otherwise I would not have had for my future years. So, my sincere condolences to you & Yannick on this loss, but Jadyn will always be with you and guiding your future in ways you may not even realize yet. Bless Jadyn’s spirit with Grace and Peace.

  9. Some people touch people’s lives in such a special way. I only know of Jadyn from what you have written and it sounds like she was an amazing girl. It bought tears to my eyes when I read about Yannick dancing with her. How beautiful. My love and prayers go out to her family and all her friends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *