From the very beginning, Jackson had the ability to change people. He had this amazing gift to soften hard hearts, put a sparkle back in someone’s eyes, and to make everyone smile. Jackson was a lover – always hugging, kissing, and making sure you knew that he loved you.
As the 2008 holiday season was approaching, we noticed that Jackson wasn't quite his usual, happy 2-year-old self. He was lethargic, he started having difficulty keeping his balance, and he was unable to keep anything down. After a trip to the doctor’s office, it was suggested we to take him to the ER.
After a CT scan, we received the news that no parent should ever hear: Jackson had a golf ball-sized tumor on the bottom area of his brain.
Scared out of my mind, Jackson and I spent our New Year snuggling in a hospital bed closely monitored by the doctors and nurses in the PICU. Two days later, my brave little boy went into a six-hour surgery to remove the tumor from his brain.
The surgery was a success, but the pathology report showed that Jackson had medulloblastoma, a rare and difficult-to-treat cancer in children. He would need chemotherapy to make sure the tumor would not return.
From January to March we spent many days and nights in the hospital. Jackson took everything in stride, always inviting his nurses and doctors into his room to watch a movie, play with Play-Doh, or just to giggle. Rarely would you see Jackson unhappy.
We were hopeful up until the end of March when doctors found cancer cells in his spinal fluid. One week later, our precious Jackson passed in the loving arms of his mom and dad, surrounded by family and his caring nurses.
Looking back now I can see that Jackson was our angel here on Earth, and now he is our beautiful angel up in heaven watching over us. I am so proud of the impact Jackson has had on all the lives he has touched. He brought a community together and he made us all take a step back and remember what life is all about and how we should live it.