Years ago I had the pleasure of meeting a fellow Tennessean named Mark. It’s not often that you meet people in this part of Florida from Tennessee, especially East Tennessee, but there he was, not only a Tennessean but a VOL fan to boot! I instantly liked Mark. Not only is he a funny guy but he’s the only white guy I’ve ever met from Tennessee that can also Pop and Lock. Secretly, I was super jealous and I nicknamed him Funky Fresh. Eventually I met Mark’s beautiful wife Akiko and their two boys, Joshua and Jeremy. They are a beautiful family.
We lost touch over time and Mark and his family moved to Texas but thanks to the Internet and the power of a little site called facebook, we reconnected. Mark and Akiko went on to have another child, a beautiful daughter named Jaimie, and over the years I’ve enjoyed reading his updates and hearing about what the family is up to. Just like he and his wife, all of his kids are super smart and extremely talented.
Sometime in mid December of 2012 Mark posted that he was at the hospital with Jaimie and then a few days later the following post appeared on his facebook page:
“I have never been the one to write my personal or family matters on FB. However, today, I am requesting your prayer. My daughter, Jaimie, is in fourth stage of cancer centered and quickly spreading around her stomach. This was sudden and unexpected. As you can imagine this has caused my family and myself I great amount of pain. Please keep Jaimie in your prayers. God’s going to perform miracles and I am going to be here to witness it.”
I was stunned and heartbroken for Mark and his family and ever since that day I’ve monitored Mark’s facebook page for any updates or progress reports and I started praying for Jaimie.
Jaimie has gone through several rounds of chemo and she’s had to endure many treatments that would be hard for any adult to handle let alone a child. Through it all Mark has posted regular updates regarding her progress. He’s also posted wonderful pictures of her incredible artwork and sometime, in July I believe, Mark posted a video of Jaimie running. He mentioned that before she got sick she used to love to run. Watching that video you could see the pure joy on her face as she ran, her smile was huge and contagious. I watched it several times and then I cried. I said more prayers.
The latest update came on May 29th. Jaimie was at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York where the family is seeking another opinion on Jaimie’s treatment options. They know the battle will be long but they are going to do whatever is possible to help Jaimie fight this cancer. We all continue to pray.
Throughout this entire ordeal Mark and his family have asked for only one thing, prayers for Jaimie. Unfortunately as of June 1st, their health insurance premiums are going up. All of their costs are increasing – as much as double and in some cases triple, couple that with travel expenses for Jaimie’s treatment and the financial burden will quickly add up.
This was the hardest post I’ve ever written. I’m typically the funny girl and I think my blog is known for being full of funny and outrageous running adventures and I wasn’t sure I could convey to you just how special and loved this little girl is but this is Jaimie:
*Picture from Mark’s facebook page.
The family is thinking of ways to raise money to help with Jaimie’s medical care and I really want to help. They are currently working on T-shirts for ‘Team Jaimie’ that would possibly include Jaimie’s artwork “The Butterfly that Flew to the Stars”.
*Picture from Mark’s facebook page.
I think it would be awesome if people bought the T-shirts and wore them while running or during races and sent the pictures to Jaimie. That’s what I plan to do. You can email me at upandhumming at gmail dot com if you want me to email you with details when the shirts are available or you can check the blog and I’ll post as soon as I know something. I’d love to get as many people on ‘Team Jaimie’ as possible!
The family has also set up a go fund me page located here if you’d like to donate to help with Jaimie’s care. You can also read more about Jaimie and the type of cancer she is fighting.
Lastly, I strongly believe in the power of prayer and if you could say a prayer for Jaimie I know the family would appreciate it.
If you want to leave a comment, please do so, but leave it for Jaimie. I’m going to send this link to Mark and I’m sure he’ll share your comments with his beautiful little girl.