Stories of Inspiration: Remembering Jack on His 17th Birthday

Jack enjoyed music… so much that he would call his dad into his room almost every day and say “Dad, guess who this is.” 

He had all kinds of music in his iTunes library, but mostly Christian and Country music.

Jack was a young man who wanted to help other kids like him—he told his parents he wanted to be a brain surgeon when he grew up. 

He never met a stranger and greeted everyone with a smile.

As a young boy, he dabbled in the saxophone while attending Cherokee Christian School and played baseball, golf and basketball.  He enjoyed cooking, and became very good at it.

And he could always make people laugh.

Some of those things stopped when Jack was 10 years old, but two things didn’t stop:  his always smiling face and his love for God.

At 10 years old, Jack was diagnosed with a brain tumor that eventually turned to cancer.  He underwent surgeries and endured chemotherapy, but he kept on smiling.

Despite any pain he had, he never complained.

On Jan. 7, 2011, at 16 years old, Jack died at Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital, with his parents, Bob and Mary, by his side.

700 to 800 people attended his prayer and memorial services on those cold winter days, showing how many people Jack’s smile touched.

His father remembers him as a boy who was always happy.  He was very close to his grandmother, who passed away the week before him.  Respecting his wishes, Jack’s parents took his ashes to be buried next to his Granny, in Bessemer, AL.

“Jack and his Granny were more than grandson and grandmother; they were best friends and true kindred spirits,” Bob said.

“Before Jack got critically ill, he talked to Granny every day, without fail, sometimes multiple times.”

Even as a young boy, his parents knew he had a strong faith.  He was a spiritual child, and Jack didn’t care who knew how much he loved God.


About The Brain Tumor Foundation for Children

Founded in 1983, BTFC was the first nonprofit in the U.S. to focus on brain cancer in children. Our mission is to support patients and their families.
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2 Responses to Stories of Inspiration: Remembering Jack on His 17th Birthday

  1. Julie Berger says:

    To Bob and Mary, Thanks for sharing your wonderful son with us. The stories like yours of the kids who leave this earth early are very sad even for those of us parents who believe that Jack no longer suffers and is happy in heaven. You must miss him so much. May God give you peace as you remember his awesome smile and love for God. Blessings to you both.

  2. Olivia Willis says:

    I was blessed to take care of Jack at Scottish Rite. I remember him often!

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