UPDATES

This website has been created as a means of communication for Jacob's Story. Please check back often to follow the next chapters in Jacob's Story and to keep up to date with future events. If you would like be informed when there has been updates to Jacob's Story, please enter your email address below.

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Canada Post BBQ

We would like to thank everyone who helped and supported Jacob's Story at the Canada Post BBQ, it was a wonderful success!

Special thanks to:
Heart FM - Dan Henry, Liz Wizmer, Monica
Canada Post, 1074 Parkinson Rd. - Candy Witcombe, Doris London
Norwich Packers
Zehrs - Shawn (manager), Chad Lucier (dept. supervisor)
East Side Marios - John Stevens
Louie's Pizza, Ingersoll - Cindy Skater (owner)


Jacob Story Volunteers

Dear Jacob’s Story Supporters,

As you are all aware, we are moving forward with Jacob’s Story. In doing so, we will require from time to time, volunteers for our various events. Our first event, Jacob’s Story Fundraising Dance, will be held on Saturday June 4th 2011 at the Oxford Auditorium. We will require anywhere from 30-50 volunteers. Volunteer jobs can be anything from set up, to clean up and anything in between. If you are interested in helping out for this fun and worthy cause, please email me, melaniedavis@sympatico.ca and let me know the hours you are available. If you cannot attend this event, but would like to volunteer in the future, please email me as well.

Thank you all in advance for your continued support. Warm regards,
Melanie Davis


Message from Jacob's Story Board of Directors and Committee
Over the last eight months, we have all been inspired by the amazing and powerful story of Jacob and his family. We invite you to visit the guestbook and leave a message on how you or someone you know has been inspired or any other stories you wish to share. Thank you again for your continued support.


Sentinel Review Article with Jacob's Family
'His spirit will always be' - Local news
Posted By HUGO RODRIGUES, SENTINEL-REVIEW

Moments after meeting Jessica and Bill Hagen-Johnson, the strength of their 11-year-old son's character beams through both of them. Jacob's body succumbed to acute myelogenous leukemia around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. As Jessica and Bill start planning for a celebration of his life next week at the Oxford Auditorium, it's clear that, while they are feeling the loss of his physical presence, they're not mourning his absence.

They're celebrating the 11 amazing years they were able to spend with him and are content that his journey since a March diagnosis was his. Jessica and Bill sat down with the Sentinel-Review Thursday to share who Jacob is and what they've learned about him, themselves and this community as they've taken an unforgettable journey together. They spoke about a well-centered boy, focused, kind, fair and able to recognize and master his emotions in ways that Bill admitted still leave him astounded. Jacob and his family made a conscious decision the day he was diagnosed they would follow their son in always looking for the positive -- the little miracles of life -- as they lived experiences that have the power to reduce people to much less.

"It was his journey, his life," Jessica said. "He wanted to know everything (about his condition and treatment). He would get upset if the doctors pulled us out of the room to explain something. We would share everything with him and, if there was a slim chance (of improvement), he would still say 'It's a chance.'"

Even as his body suffered the effects of organ failure due to his leukemia and chemotherapy treatments, Jacob kept a laser-like, positive focus on returning to health. Little miracles were celebrated with his family, such as being able to produce a small amount of urine after days on dialysis while at Toronto's Sick Children Hospital.

"He wanted his kidneys to get better, his heart to get better, so he could go home and he made that his truth," Bill said. "He accepted the need for all the lines and injections and it was really interesting that he saw the end goal without blinking an eye."

Jessica said the choices remained Jacob's in the final days and hours. On heavy painkillers that he was reluctant to ask for as his body started shutting down, his parents said they struggled with making decisions for him due to the grogginess caused by his medications.

"We came back from lunch (Tuesday) and we were saying again, 'It's your choice,'" Jessica said. "He pulled off his mask and smiled."

She said he then blinked slowly three times and they stayed shut as his spirit left his body. "

Everyone in the room said it was unbelievable. The people who helped him with his transition said it was so peaceful," Jessica said. "You could see his spirit-- he has pulled through, in a different sense."

Jessica and Bill said they truly believe Jacob's spirit remains with them and will continue to guide them. They said those who've lent their thoughts, prayers and wishes to him over the past five months shouldn't be discouraged at this result, but instead encouraged that their contributions helped him find his way.

"It's a huge gift he's given to people," Jessica said. "Even people close to us, who didn't use this terminology (light, energy, visualization, spirituality)-- because of him, now they're using it."

During early treatment , Jacob and his family asked people to think of and visualize his healthy bones, even bringing plastic ones into his London hospital room to help. After his last round of chemotherapy, test results showed all the leukemia had been eradicated from his bone marrow.

"We achieved that. We want people to know that because he didn't choose to stay ... people shouldn't think (their thoughts and visualizations) didn't work," Jessica said.

The family was overwhelmed with this community's response to Jacob's journey. A strong online presence at www.jacobsstory.ca continues to reverberate with this support, as messages continue to be posted on the guestbook from those who know the family and those who've never met them but were inspired by their journey and positive outlook.

Jessica spoke at a CAST performance this past weekend about the impact this had and how helpful it was.

"The positivity, the love, the strength from those people-that dance with 900 people in the room gave us such a high, with everyone shouting 'go, Jacob, go.' We can't even put it into words," Jessica said. "He watched the DVD and got that energy."

Bill admitted at first it was challenging to accept the offers of help that came from the community. From financial donations that helped both parents take time off work to be with Jacob and his four siblings to the meals and odd jobs, they're thankful.

All the details haven't been worked out yet, but the web-site will continue and Bill and Jessica want to be able to help other families in the manner they were helped. They're hoping to set up a foundation that would then support and promote the organizations they received support from during the past five months.

With this chapter complete, the family is focusing on the ones that lie ahead. The first step is a celebration of Jacob's life on Sept. 2 at the Oxford Auditorium on Nellis Street. There won't be an obituary, it's not a visitation and there will be no funeral, as Jessica and Bill explain the event is about "hugs, smiles and a chance to mingle with the family."

People are even being encouraged to wear bright-coloured clothing or Jacob's favourite orange.The casual (hugs, smiles, mingling) portion of the event will run from 3 to 6 p.m., with a celebration of his life from 7 to 8 p.m.

"His body is not physically here, but his spirit will always be," Jessica said. "We are so honoured to have had 11 years with this amazing boy."

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