Jaedon Stepney

Jaedon was a different child, I know all parents probably think that but he was truly like no other child I have ever known. He was born September 13th 2002 ( Friday the 13) Jae had a pretty normal child hood until he started having terrible headaches at the age of 4. I had taken him to the doctor several times and they kept brushing it off. I did not want to see my baby in pain so I decided to take him to the CHKD in Norfolk where they gave him a CT scan. They found a tumor in the back of his head the size of a lemon. I was devastated. They admitted him into the hospital and we waited for him to have an emergency surgery to remove the tumor which would take approximately 8 hours. Over the weekend the fluid on his brain became so much he stopped breathing and they had to put in an emergency shunt. After the surgery they were able to get all of that tumor out and God allowed him to have no side effects from the tumor.

The cancer Jae had at that time was Medulloblastoma. He went through months of chemo and 6 weeks of radiation. The doctors said that it was common for him to get another tumor later in life. But for now we were grateful to have our Jae back. And not one time during this process did he complain or ask why!.

Jae was cancer free for over 10 years God really blessed him and our family. Then in October of 2020 the endocrine dr suggested him to take hormone shots because his hormones were low and we decided to go ahead and do that. He had been taking them for about 4 weeks and he started complaining about headaches. He had talked to my husband already and I didn’t know but he said he knew it was going to come back. We took him to the emergency room to see about the headaches. They found a tumor in the front of his head this time the size of a lime another devastation.. Not one time did Jae show he was worried or did I ever see him cry. He was a big protector of me and did not want me to worry. He was sent to Richmond and they got out as much of the tumor as they could.

This tumor was called Glioblastoma . He started radiation but that really didn’t do anything. So they put him on chemo and also used a machine called an Optune. He hated that thing lol. But he just did what the doctors asked him to do. He finished his senior year in high school after the surgery during a pandemic with A /B Honor roll both semesters and he was in a wheelchair before that but was determined and walked across the stage!!

The liquid chemo became too much and caused pancreatitis which he described as much more painful. And it was also causing bleeding and we did know where it was coming from. So we ended up stopping the liquid chemo. That was in October 2021. He started having seizures the middle of January and we saw that the tumor was growing again. Jae talked about God a lot and had given his life to Christ years before. Even though all of this he was still telling people how Good God had been to him. He also said he wasn’t afraid to die because he knew where he was going and he talked to God all the time. Jae was so considerate he never got an attitude or mad at anyone he just endured. I Thank God every day for entrusting me with such a special child. It was a privilege and an honor to care for him. I am eternally grateful ❤️❤️

Our Donation Story

When Jaedon passed I decided to donate his brain tissue to help others who may be going through the same thing.  Jaedon was a giver and alway wanted to help others

Gift from a Child
Is a Swifty Foundation Program

Swifty is a recipient of the GuideStar Gold Seal of Transparency

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