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About Jaydie Lynn King

 

Jaydie passed away in 2005 at age eight following an almost year-long battle with a brain tumor. “She was an absolute angel throughout her brief life,” says her mom Cami. “She was here for a reason and we’re different people because of her; stronger, more giving, more loving, and we appreciate every day a little more. The thing she taught us most is to leave people better than you found them.” Jaydie Lynn King was always looking out for others. When she went shopping for school supplies Jaydie would have her mom buy extras just in case a classmate couldn’t afford them. She was the one who would befriend someone playing alone at recess. When one of her siblings was hurt she was the first to comfort them. And after a visit to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, when she had been poked and prodded with needles, she’d hand out her beads of courage to other children in the waiting room rather than keep them for her own necklace.

That lesson is something Cami and Jeffry King have put into action, pledging $1 million to Phoenix Children’s, and naming the Jaydie Lynn King Neuro-oncology Program in their daughter’s honor. “This is what Jaydie would have wanted us to do. It was really her vision,” says her dad Jeffry. “This isn’t just about Jaydie, but all of the other sick kids and how she wanted to help them.”

Just recently Cami and Jeffry were going through Jaydie’s journals and cards, reading the messages she had made about her family and friends. Among them were notes she’d written to her dad about how much he inspired her, and how she wanted to make him proud. “I think that’s why Jeffry is so driven,” explains Cami. “There was really a special bond between the two of them. She looked up to him so much that he can’t let her down.”

They’re gratified to know that their commitment to Phoenix Children’s will now help fund programs, services, and especially research. “Part of our decision was based on the fact that they incorporate research into their treatment and are so aggressive at providing different drug therapies to kids,” adds Cami. In fact, Jaydie was the first patient at the Hospital to complete a Phase 1 research trial. Although they knew the drug protocol might not work, in true Jaydie fashion she told her parents she wanted to try it anyway just in case it helped another child down the road.

Cami and Jeffry and say they’re honored to partner with Phoenix Children’s since they both have the same goal of making children better and making their time at the Hospital a little easier. Seeing Jaydie’s name for the first time on the Hospital walls was an emotional moment for them. “When we saw it for the first time we cried. But they were happy tears for what we were accomplishing…what it meant to us and what it would have meant to her,” explains Cami.

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