Journal History

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009 9:20 AM EST

It's so hard to believe it's been 6 years today that our little man became an Angel. Sometimes it seems like only yesterday and at other times, it seems like forever since I held my beautiful grandson.

I miss Jalen each and every why are these Angelversaries especially hard?

We will be at the cemetery, this afternoon, and doing a balloon release at 3:08 p.m.--the time when Jalen became an Angel.

Thank you for continuing to check on us. We, sincerely, appreciate it.

{Jacoby & Angel Jalen's "Am-Maw" forever and ever}

~~~Hello my sweet Poppy. We love you and miss you SO very much! As always...I'll be waiting for you in my dreams.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008 2:48 PM EST

Happy 7th birthday, Jalen. All of us miss you so very much. Not a day goes by that you're not in our thoughts.

It blows me away that our little boy would have been 7 years old today. My overactive mind struggles to try to picture what he would look like...what he would be hear him talk and see him run all over the place...a big boy in school. It's hard to imagine. One thing I do know, though, is that he would have been one very beautiful very loved little boy.

We just got back from our annual toy drive and, once again, it was a huge success. It's always hard going back to the floor where Jalen spent so much of his life, but when we see those beautiful little faces, my daughter and I just smile at each other and know that's where we're supposed to be. As we headed down the corridor with Jalen's wagon full of gifts and a cart just as full, we saw a little girl heading down the hallway. She was using a walker and had a beautiful bald head. Jeanette and I were gonners. We hadn't even met her, yet, and she had stolen our hearts. After the toy drive, we were lucky enough to get to talk with her mom, for a little bit, as she slept. Such a beautiful little girl. Her mother was so incredibly sweet and we could tell that she's one strong woman. Something about these children and their parents that is so very special. We both feel blessed to have met them and they'll be in our daily prayers.

We had over 100 presents so the kids got to take as much as they wanted. Their siblings were able to take toys as well. After our drive was over, we took all the leftover toys and stocked the closet on the floor. These toys will be given out throughout the coming year to a new child on the floor, or a child who is having a rough day, etc. We're glad to be able to stock that closet full each year. :)

We also brought subs, side salads and chips to the nurses. We can't forget them! They're incredibly caring women and we appreciate all they do for these beautiful children.

Our family will be gathering at 4:30 for a balloon release at the cemetery.

Thank you for continuing to check on us.

{Jacoby & Angel Jalen's "Am-Maw" forever and ever}

~~~Hello my sweet Poppy. We love you and miss you SO very much! Thank you for the sign you gave me last week. As always...I'll be waiting for you in my dreams.

Monday, May 26, 2008 8:33 AM EST

Five long years…

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 5 years since I held my little man…Since I heard that sweet little voice and looked into those beautiful eyes. I have to say that the pain isn’t much different, now, than it was on June 3, 2003. Time heals? Who made up that ridiculously lame phrase? My guess is that it was someone who never lost a child. Someone who was never robbed of seeing someone they love SO much from growing up.

Jalen’s little brother, Jacoby, is doing well and getting so big. He’s almost 10 months old now and he brings so much joy to us on a daily basis. He really resembles his big brother and I like seeing that. I just keep praying that Coby will have a very long, healthy life. It’s tough because 10 months of age is when Jalen was diagnosed with leukemia. Everyone tells me not to think about that, but how can I not??? I just keep praying…it’s all I can do.

Here are a few pictures of our big boy...




Thank you for continuing to check on us.

{Jacoby & Angel Jalen's "Am-Maw" forever and ever}

~~~Hello my sweet Poppy. We love you and miss you SO very much! As always...I'll be waiting for you in my dreams.

Friday, November 9, 2007 6:41 PM CST

We had our Light The Night walk on November 2nd and, once again, Jalen’s Team did VERY well. We don’t have our official total yet, but I think it will be pretty darn good! Thank you to everyone who helped make it a very successful evening. Thanks to those of you who continue to raise those much needed funds and who walk with us year after year. It means SO much to me and I know our little angel was smiling down on all of us.

Courtney, Jacoby & Jeanette
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Jeanette and I are now working on The 5th Annual Jalen King Memorial Toy Drive. We’ll be, once again, bringing lots and lots of toys to the Pediatric Oncology department at St. Mary’s Hospital on Jalen’s birthday—December 9th. I can’t believe that Jalen would be turning 6 years old next month. These angelversaries sure are tough days, but being able to bring smiles to the beautiful children on the oncology floor, sure does help us get through a difficult day.

Jalen’s little brother, Jacoby, is getting so big. He’s just over 3 months old, now, and we’re all absolutely crazy about him! It saddens me that he’ll never know his big brother, but I will be making sure to tell him all about Jalen and what an incredible little boy he was.

Here are a few pictures of our little man…

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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{Jacoby & Angel Jalen's "Am-Maw" forever and ever}

~~~Hello my sweet Poppy. We love you and miss you SO very much! As always...I'll be waiting for you in my dreams.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

We are, once again, gearing up for our annual Leukemia & Lymphoma Society walk...LIGHT THE NIGHT. This event is extremely near and dear to many of our hearts. Last year, Jalen's Team was very successful and we're hoping for the same this year.

If you're able to, we would love for you to join us! The walk is on November 2nd--at Meyer Amphitheater--here in West Palm Beach. We hope to see you there!!! Just look for the big yellow ducks!

Register for "Jalen's Team"

If you're unable to make it to the walk and would like to make a secure, tax deductible donation, please use the following link to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Click here to donate to Jalen's Team.

Any and all donations are sincerely appreciated!!! If you have any questions, at all, please feel free to email me.

Thank you & God bless...
{Angel Jalen's "Am-Maw" forever and ever}

Sunday, August 12, 2007

We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Jalen's little brother into our family.

Jacoby Jalen King was born on July 31st--8lbs 6oz and 19 1/2 inches long. Jeanette and Jacoby are doing well. It's so wonderful to see the light back in my daughter's eyes. We're all, totally, in love with our little man!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Just a reminder that next month is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, in partnership with Chili’s Grill & Bar®, invites people to get creative for this worthwhile cause by participating in the Create-A-Pepper to Fight Childhood Cancer campaign throughout the month.

Chili’s guests nationwide can contribute in the following ways:

--Make a donation to St. Jude, for which patrons will receive a Create-A-Pepper coloring sheet. Completed coloring sheets will be proudly displayed in restaurants for the month of September.
--Purchase Create-A-Pepper T-shirts that can be customized with permanent marker.
--Purchase Create-A-Pepper gift cards that can be customized with permanent marker. Chili’s will donate $1 to St. Jude for every $25 purchased in Create-A-Pepper gift cards.
--Eat at Chili’s on Monday, September 24, when Chili’s will donate 100 percent of its profits from restaurant sales to St. Jude.

{Jacoby & Angel Jalen's "Am-Maw" forever and ever}

~~~Hello my sweet Poppy. We miss you SO very much! Please watch over your little brother and your mommy. I look forward to the day that I can tell Jacoby all about his beautiful, amazing big brother! As always, I'll be waiting for you in my dreams.


Saturday, March 3, 2007
Just wanted to let everyone know that the numbers are in and Jalen's Team was #1 in our Light The Night Walk. Our team raised $11,285!!! We were #1 in the West Palm Beach walk, the Boca Raton walk and the Treasure Coast walk! I'm so proud of our team. We, certainly, have our work ahead of us for this year's walk, but I'm confident that it will be another successful year.

Also wanted to let everyone know that Jeanette is pregnant and we've found out that it's a boy! Jeanette is due at the end of July and we're all thrilled! Praying, praying, praying for a healthy baby!!!

Thanks for continuing to check on us...
{Angel Jalen's "Am-Maw" forever and ever}

~~~Hello my sweet Poppy. We miss you SO very much! As always, I'll be waiting for you in my dreams.


Sunday, December 10, 2006
Well...the 4th Annual Jalen King Memorial Toy Drive was a HUGE success!!! We ended up with about 120 toys and shared some big smiles at St. Mary's Hospital. Since we had so many toys, we were able to let the siblings take as many things as they wanted also! :) I stocked the hallway closet with everything that was leftover...which will be used throughout the year when a child is having a tough day. :)

See new pictures on the picture page!

As difficult as yesterday was, I'm so glad that we have this toy drive to help us through the day. Seeing those amazing children smile really helps!

I still can't believe that Jalen would have been turning 5! So many questions run through my many questions that I'll never have answers for. Whoever said that this gets easier, with time, was WRONG! I think we just find more ways to cope, but the pain is as intense as ever. Personally, doing events like Light The Night and this toy drive are what I need to get by.

Speaking of Light The Night, our official total was just under $11,500!!! Is that awesome or what?!?!?!?!

Thanks for continuing to check on us...
{Angel Jalen's "Am-Maw" forever and ever}

P.S. Happy birthday in Heaven my sweet angel. Thank you for continuing to give us signs. I'll be waiting for you in my dreams.


Sunday, October 15, 2006
Our Light The Night walk is over and I'm very proud to report that Jalen's Team did an AWESOME job, again, this year. I don't have the official total, but I'm guessing that we raised a little over $10,000 this year!!! A HUGE thanks to all that made this event so successful and to all those who proudly carried the ducks and walked with us! It sure is an evening full of emotion.

Our next project is the 4th Annual Jalen King Memorial Toy Drive. We do this on Jalen's birthday--December 9th.'s so hard to believe that Jalen would have been turning 5 this year. :'-( This event really helps my daughter and me make a very difficult day, more bearable. Though it's always difficult to be on the floor where Jalen spent so much of his life, it's an absolutely amazing feeling to see the faces of these courageous children when they see all the toys and start picking out things they would like to have. We also give thanks to the incredible nurses by bringing them lunch and dessert. We owe them SO much for taking such good care of our baby. We also bring goodies to Jalen's doctor's office and to the Pediatric Oncology Support Team. Such wonderful and caring people who have a very special place in our hearts. This event has been really successful, in the past, and we hope that this year will be no different.

Thank you for continuing to check on us. It means the world to us!

{Angel Jalen’s “Am-Maw” forever and ever}

~~~Hello my beautiful, sweet Poppy. We miss you SO very much!!! Keep turning the lights on and I'll be waiting for you in my dreams.

Sunday, July 9, 2006 12:00 PM EST

It's that time again...Light The Night 2006! October 6th will be our 4th year walking in Jalen's loving memory and we could really use your support.

If you would like to make a credit card donation, you can use the attached link which goes straight to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society...


If you would prefer to send a check, please make it payable to "The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society" and mail it to me at:

Terry Snyder
6922 Aliso Avenue
West Palm Beach, FL 33413

All donations are tax deductible. Any amount you can spare--even $5--would be GREATLY appreciated!

As all of you know, this event is extremely important to me.

Thank you SOOOOO much!
{Angel Jalen's "Am-Maw" forever and ever}

Saturday, June 3, 2006 7:55 AM EST

Three years ago, our world came crashing down...never to be the same again. Since the time that Jalen first got sick in October, 2002, our lives were one big rollercoaster...filled with highs and lows. I'm so very thankful for those highs...smiles that could light up a room, the way he would point to me and then point to his bed…all the while making little noises...which meant that he wanted me to sit next to him so he could lay his head and body against me. Special memories of watching Jalen dance and the way he moved his shoulders up and down. EVERYONE loved to watch him dance! The nurses would rush to his room if they heard that Jalen was dancing. We would say "dance with your hand" and he would start moving his hand all around. :) I'm also SO very thankful for the nights when I would hold Jalen and just sing to him. I have many, many songs on my computer and I would play song after song and sing them to him. From children's songs...slow songs...even a little opera. ::Big Smile:: Jalen would just lay on my lap, looking up at me and watch. Sometimes he would hum along. I can still see that beautiful little face looking up at me and smiling. (Bruce would tease me and say that I had, finally, found someone that liked my singing…lol.) It was "our" special time and I'll remember it and cherish it for the rest of my life.

I’m thankful for the signs that we still receive. Little signs that mean SO very much. With them, comes comfort. I always pray for Jalen to be in my dreams at night and, though I haven’t had many dreams with him in it, I cherish the ones that I have had.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been three years since I held the love of my life. Sometimes it feels like yesterday and other times, it feels like it was a lifetime ago. It’s so weird. I know they say that time heals, but I really don’t find that to be true yet. I feel like a huge chunk of me died when we lost Jalen. There is still, rarely, a day without tears. Though I still have anger in me and SO many questions as to why it had to be Jalen that got sick and who had to leave us at such a young age, I try to focus on keeping his memory alive and also on doing my part to try to help find a cure for this devastating disease. We’re starting to gear up for this years “Light The Night” and hope that we will, once again, be able to raise a lot of money for this very important cause. There will be more about this on the website soon so please check back.

Most of all, I’m thankful to God for allowing us to know and to love a little brown-eyed, brown-haired beautiful boy named Jalen Jamar King. Jalen has impacted so many lives…it’s truly amazing. We miss him and love him more than words can say.

Please remember to donate blood and platelets as often as possible. If you’re pregnant or know someone who is, please talk to them about the importance of cord blood donation.

Thank you for continuing to check on us. It means the world to us.

{Angel Jalen’s “Am-Maw” forever and ever}

~~~Hello my beautiful, sweet Poppy. We miss you SO very much!!! Keep turning the lights on and I'll be waiting for you in my dreams.

Sunday, December 11, 2005 11:00 AM EST


I'm so happy to report that the 3rd Annual Jalen King Memorial Toy Drive was a HUGE success!!! Once again, my Toyota 4Runner was completely filled with goodies! Our first stop was to Jalen's doctor's office with a huge tray of cookies. Dr. Gowda wasn't there, but luckily, we did see him at the hospital. What a very special man and it was wonderful to see him once again! Then it was off to see our dear friends...the POST Team. We brought them some cookies and a donation--to help with some of the WONDERFUL work that they do. We were then off to our final stop…the Pediatric Oncology floor at St. Mary’s Hospital…with lunch and dessert for the nurses--because they're so incredible and we love them so much, cookies for the parents and lots and lots of toys for the kids. Sandy and Darlene (from POST) came to the hospital with us and helped with our toy drive. (Thank you SO much!!!) We did something a little different this year. Instead of picking toys out and delivering them to each child, we set ALL the toys up on tables and had them come down and pick whatever they wanted...and whatever they could carry back to their room. It was THE most awesome experience! A few of the children weren't feeling well, but still managed to smile and that just made our day! Such beautiful and special children!

That hospital was my daughter’s home away from home. She and Jalen spent so much of his life there. Looking at Jeanette, during the toy drive, and seeing her with those kids…my heart was filled with both sadness and pride. She has always had such a way with children, but it was so obvious that she has so much love for these children. She certainly is an amazing young woman. I know that her son was very proud of his mommy!

Friday night, we had a balloon release and a family and friends get together at the cemetery. It’s so hard to believe that Jalen would have been 4 years old! Though he’s been gone for 2 ½ years, we still miss him and love him SOOOOOOOOOO much. We have, certainly, been forever changed.

Thank you for continuing to check on us. We appreciate it more than you’ll ever know! From my family to yours…Happy holidays and a very happy and healthy new year!

{Angel Jalen’s “Am-Maw” forever and ever}

~~~Hello my beautiful, sweet Poppy. I hope that it brought a smile to that gorgeous face of yours when you were watching mommy and me give out all those presents to your little friends. Happy birthday in Heaven! We miss you SO much!!! I'll be waiting for you in my dreams.

Sunday, October 9, 2005 9:15 AM EST

Friday night was our Light The Night walk and I'm VERY proud to report that "Jalen's Team" did an awesome job once again!!! I don't have the official total yet and still have some donations coming in, but I think it will be close to $6,000 raised for the Society!!!

Thanks to all who helped make this a successful event! It's such an awesome feeling to be able to help out like this!

The weather held out for most of our walk so we were able to, once again, proudly carry our honorary ducks. Jalen's flock sure was noticed! :)

A VERY special thank you to Carol Mack and her beautiful son, Tommy Lee, who drove several hours to walk with us. Thanks for ALL your help! I'm SO glad that you were able to be with us and carry Meghan's duck!!! And thank you for my "Everybody Loves Meghan" shirts. I love them!!! >Everybody Loves Meghan Love you, sista! :)

Well, now that Light The Night is behind us, it's time to start our next project...The 3rd Annual Jalen King Memorial Toy Drive. December 9th would have been Jalen's 4th birthday so, to honor him, we bring lots and lots of toys to the children on the pediatric oncology floor at St. Mary's Medical Center. Last year, my entire Toyota 4Runner was PACKED and we hope to do the same this year. We also delivered a huge box of toys to the Pediatric Oncology Support Team at St. Mary's to distribute through the year. As some of you, unfortunately, know...anniversary days are SO very difficult, but doing this really helps Jeanette and me get through a very sad day. If you would like to take part in putting smiles on these incredible children's faces, please email me.

Thanks again!

{Angel Jalen's "Am-Maw" forever and ever}

~~~Hello my sweet Poppy...I hope that seeing all those ducks brought a smile to that beautiful face of yours. We miss you and love you SOOOOOOOOOO much!!! Keep turning the lights on! :)

Friday, August 12, 2005 10:25 PM EST

Well...we're gearing up for this year's Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Light The Night! Our walk is on Friday, October 7th, in downtown West Palm Beach. We had such a great turnout, last year, and we're hoping that this year is even bigger and better! If you'd like to participate, we'd be honored if you would join us! Just go to: Look for "JALEN'S TEAM".

If you'd like to make a donation, please visit my online donation website at: LIGHT THE NIGHT DONATIONS. Thank you SO much for helping!!!

We'll be using the ducks I made last year. (See Photo Page) They sure got noticed and I loved seeing those little faces on them!!!

This will be our third year walking in Jalen's loving memory. That's hard to believe. This event is extremely important to us! We are determined to turn our anger to action to help find cures for these devastating diseases!

As always...please don’t forget to donate blood and platelets and if you’re expecting a baby, or know someone who is, talk to your doctor about donating your baby’s cord blood. It might save a life.

Thanks again!

{Angel Jalen's "Am-Maw" forever and ever}

~~~Hello my sweet Poppy. All of us miss you SOOOO much. Keep turning the lights on!!! I'll be waiting for you in my dreams.

Thursday, June 2, 2005 6:59 PM CDT

Sorry it's been so long between updates and thank you for continuing to check in on us.

Well, tomorrow, marks two years since Jalen went to Heaven. Even after all this time, it's still SO hard to believe. Some days, it seems like an eternity ago and then, on others, it seems as though it were only yesterday.

Our lives have, certainly, changed forever. Things that were, once, so important to me, aren't anymore. Two of the most important things to me, now, are to keep Jalen's memory alive and to do my part--in hopes of finding a cure. I know the pain that being on this side of the coin causes and it sickens me each and every time a child becomes an angel and the family is left to try to pick up the pieces and go on.

There isn't a day that passes where I don't wear my angel gold ribbon pin and my Jalen photo button. It makes me feel as though he's with me every day. Jalen's button is on the bottom right hand corner of this page...

I'm still going through grief counseling and, though there still is rarely a day where I don't cry, I certainly have learned a lot about this grief journey. I can't even imagine how I would be if it weren't for my incredible Hospice counselor. Thank you, Raeann!

I've met some really special people through Jalen and, though I wish I could have met them under entirely different circumstances, I'm thankful that they're in my life. These friendships mean the world to me!

We'll be doing a balloon release at 3:08 p.m. tomorrow. Those of us who will be at the cemetery, will write messages on the balloons and then release them. I hope that the weather cooperates with us!

Thank you for continuing to check on really means SO much! Don't forget to donate blood and platelets! Thank you!!!

{Angel Jalen's "Am-Maw" forever and ever}

~~~Hello my sweet Poppy. Thank you for the sign on Monday night. You always did know how to get a smile out of me. All of us miss you SOOOO much. Keep turning the lights on!!! I'll be waiting for you in my dreams.

Saturday, March 5, 2005 8:25AM EST

Sorry it's been such a long time since my last update. Things have been pretty hectic and stressful here. My mother (Angel Jalen's great grandma) had triple bypass surgery a few weeks ago. She went in for a cardiac catheterization and the next thing we knew, she was in surgery undergoing open heart. What a scary time, but I'm so happy to say that my mother is doing well and recuperating nicely. She's still very tired and has to take it easy, but I'm so thankful to God that she's still with us and doing well.

The very same day that my mother had her open heart surgery, her last remaining sister, had a heart attack in NY. Unfortunately, due to some complications, we lost her and she joined Jalen in Heaven. My Aunt Gerry was a VERY special woman and all of us miss her so much. My poor mom is so heartbroken.

I'm, currently, reading an amazing book. It's called "Quit Kissing My Ashes" by July Collier. I was told about this book by Angel Meghan's mom, Carol. It's an inspirational story written by a mother who was devastated when her only son died and how her son continues to let his family and friends know that he's okay. It reinforces the fact that our loved ones are always with us.

Thank you for continuing to check on really means SO much! Don't forget to donate blood and platelets! Thank you!!!

{Angel Jalen's "Am-Maw" forever and ever}

~~~Hello my sweet Poppy. We all miss you so very much. There isn't an hour that goes by that I don't think of you. Keep turning the lights on!!! I'll be waiting for you in my dreams.

Saturday, January 15, 2005 8:30 AM EST

Hello Caringbridge Friends...

Well, we made it through the holidays...December sure was a tough month and I'm glad to have it behind us!

Last weekend, Jeanette (Angel Jalen's mommy), my friend Mary and I went to Walt Disney World for their big 2005 marathon. We went as volunteers of Disney World and to support The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training. Mary's sister, Sandra, ran the half marathon. This was her second year as a participant and Jalen was one of her reasons for even joining Team in Training. Is that awesome or what?!?!?! Our dear friends, Ruthie and Scott, were also there and Scott ran the 26 mile marathon in loving memory of their beautiful son, Seth. ( Scott was also wearing a Jalen button and I can't even tell you how touched I was by that. We love you guys!

The weekend started off with a Team In Training pasta party. You gotta get those runners all carbed up!!! We were guests of Sandra and were totally blown away by the number of people there. Last year, there were 2,200 TNT runners and they raised 6 MILLION dollars! Can you believe that?!?! Haven't seen the numbers for this year yet, but I'm sure they're quite impressive. Way to go...and thank you SO much...Team in Training!!! I was so psyched about going to the pasta party because I was going to, finally, meet Angel Meghan's mommy, Carol. ( For those of you who don't know, Meghan is Jalen's little girlfriend in Heaven. Although we didn't get to talk as long as I would have was a great visit and I'm sure we'll have many more get-togethers in the future. Thanks Carol!!! It was a very emotional evening, but I'm so glad that we were a part of it.

The next morning, I was up at 2:05 a.m.! read that right! We had to be checked out of our hotel by 3:30 and be at Disney World by 4:30 for our shift. We were at mile marker #9 and were part of the food stop. Every time we saw a purple jersey, the 3 of us cheered...ok, we screamed...for Team In Training. You could tell that the runners were so pumped by it! It was a, totally, awesome experience and we'll, definitely, be back next year!!! We had the BEST time!

Thank you for continuing to check on really means SO much! Don't forget to donate blood and platelets! Thank you!!!

{Angel Jalen's "Am-Maw" forever and ever}

~~~Hello my sweet Poppy. Thank you for continuing to let us feel your love. There isn't an hour that goes by that I don't think of you. I miss my biggie-boy SOOOO much!!! I'll be waiting for you in my dreams.

Saturday, December 11, 2004 4:15 PM EST

First of all, a very special thank you to all the people who have had us in their prayers and who have signed the guestbook. You're all SO special to us and we, sincerely, appreciate it.

The past week has filled me with so many emotions. The realization of the fact that Jalen has been in Heaven longer than his time here with us on earth, has been very rough. Though we are truly blessed to have had him at all and I thank God for that each and every day, we only had Jalen for a total of 541 days. I still have so much anger because cancer deprived us of so much. Those 541 days have changed me forever.

We have honored Jalen's memory in many ways over the past week. On December 3rd, the cemetery had a candlelight ceremony. It was heart-wrenching, but very beautiful. Then on December 6th, we went to a Hospice "Remember Me" ceremony. December 6th is the "day of the child" so our special children were honored. Again...very heart-wrenching, but I'm glad that we were there.

December 9th was Jalen's birthday. He would have been 3 years old. That is still so amazing to me. For the past few weeks, we have been collecting toys for the pediatric oncology children at St. Mary's Hospital. Well, because of many very generous people, our toy drive was a HUGE success! My entire 4Runner was packed FULL!!! I couldn't believe it and neither could the nurses on O2 peds at the hospital. Each gift had a label that said..."Happy Holidays...In loving memory of Jalen" and had his picture on it. I can't even express how wonderful it was to see these very special children so happy. It really helped us get through a difficult day. Thank you to everyone who helped make this day a success! I know that our little angel was looking down on us and smiling.

It was so wonderful to see Dr. Gowda, the POST Team and the pediatric oncology nurses at St. Mary's Hospital. All of them hold such a special place in our hearts and we can never thank them enough for taking such good care of Jalen.

We ended the day with a balloon release and a candlelight ceremony at Jalen's bench in the cemetery.

Thank you for checking on us...for remembering our little man...and for always caring...

{Angel Jalen's "Am-Maw" forever and ever}

~~~Jalen...Thank you for continuing to give us signs and for letting us feel your love. Keep turning the lights on, Poppy! We love you and miss you SO much!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2004 8:35 PM EST

Well, we're starting to organize "The 2nd Annual Jalen King Toy Run". On December 9th, we're planning on bringing goodies to all the O2 Peds children at St. Mary's Hospital. That floor holds very special memories for us!

My daughter, Jeanette, and I started this, last year, to honor our special little man. If he were still with us, I would be spoiling the you-know-what out of him on his birthday. (Ok, I'd be doing that all the time, but especially on his birthday.) Hey, I'm a's my job!!! Unfortunately, God had other plans. So now, instead of buying toys for Jalen, on his birthday, we'll be getting them for these special and courageous kids. They're all SO awesome!


If you'd like to be a part of this, a toy--to either a girl or a boy--can be sent to us at the address at the bottom of this page. Or, if you'd rather, a donation would also be welcomed. We would, sincerely, appreciate it and the kids at St. Mary's Hospital would LOVE it! Thank you SO much for caring!

It's very important to us to keep Jalen's memory alive and to always honor him. I think that Jalen will be very happy when he sees the smiles that this toy run brings.

God bless...
{Angel Jalen's "Am-Maw" forever and ever}

Sunday, October 3, 2004 9:00 AM EST

Well, we finally had our Light The Night walk!!! What an emotional, but awesome evening it was! “Jalen’s Team” was hugely successful and I’m very anxious to hear what our final total will be. We had about 100 walkers and raised a ton of money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

We had a girls’ dance troop participate in the evening with us and before the walk began, they performed a dance for all of us—in Jalen’s loving memory. It was performed to the song “I Can Only Imagine” by the Christian group “Mercy Me”. What an incredibly beautiful song! The girls did an awesome job! Special thanks to Michael, Stacy and the entire troop!

Our ducks were a huge hit and received a lot of attention. Those of us who carried them were SO proud. I know that Jalen, Seth, Meghan, Colby, Robert, Katja, Brandon and all their angel playmates were looking down on us and smiling and laughing. What an incredible night!

Thank you to everyone who helped make this night special. It means the world to me! I have added some pictures to the photo page.

God bless...
{Angel Jalen’s “Am-Maw” forever and ever}

~~~Hello my sweet Poppy. Thank you SO much for continually letting us feel your love and for giving us little signs. We all miss you and love you SOOOOOOOOO much!

Tuesday, September 7, 2004 7:00 PM EST

Just wanted to let everyone know that we are all ok here. We had some minor damage, but all in all, we were VERY lucky. I still haven't been by the cemetery to make sure that Jalen's memorial bench is ok. I'm SO glad Hurricane Frances is OUT OF HERE!!!

I've just been contacted by The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and our Light The Night scheduled for September 10th, has been cancelled. Our Light The Night has now been combined with the Boca Raton walk, so that's where "Jalen's Team" will be on October 1st. If you're able to join us, we would be honored.

God bless...
(Angel Jalen's "Am-Maw")

Sunday, August 22, 2004 7:00 AM EST

I've received some really lovely emails, lately, and would like to thank everyone for continuing to care. Jalen has touched so many people and is still doing so and, for that, I'm so very thankful! What a special little man he will always be!

Our Light The Night team is really starting to grow! Even people who never even knew Jalen have asked to walk with us for the cause. Jeanette and I are very touched by this!

Want to fall in love? Check out Hayley's Corner. What a special family! I'm sure they would love to read your guestbook entries.

God bless...
(Angel Jalen's "Am-Maw")

Sunday, August 7, 2004 8:00 AM EST

Sorry it’s been so long between updates.

First of all…isn’t it just awesome that our little ladybug, Katia, has, finally, been able to go home?!?!?!?! The Solomon’s are an absolutely incredible family who we feel privileged to call our friends!

We’re submerging ourselves in our upcoming Light The Night walk. We have something very special planned this year. I’ll be sure to post pictures after our walk next month! If you’d like to walk with us, be sure to sign up at The Leukemia and Lymphoma site. Just look for “Jalen’s Team”. We would be honored to have you with us! If you’d like to help us meet our goal, donations are sincerely appreciated. Please write your check to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and you can send them to the address below. If you prefer to make an online donation, a page has been set up through The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Check it out! Jalen's Team Thank you SOOOO much!!!

(Angel Jalen’s “Am-Maw” forever and ever)

Jalen~~Hello my sweet Poppy. I miss your beautiful face SO much and long to hold and kiss you. We miss you and love you SOOO very much!!!

Saturday, May 29, 2004 9:10 PM EST

Sorry it's been a while since I last updated. Truthfully, sometimes these updates just emotionally drain me. I do have a few things to share with all of you, though.

It's been a rough few weeks here. I celebrated my 45th birthday on the 24th and for the first time in my life, I didn't want the day to come. I just kept thinking about last year--when Jalen was home on Hospice. It was 10 days before he left us and though he felt so horribly, he still managed to feed me some birthday cake. It's a memory I'll hold in my heart forever.

Next Thursday, marks one year since our beautiful Jalen earned his angel wings. Jeanette and I will be taking the day off and doing a balloon release at the cemetery at 3:08 p.m. Not that any day is easy, but I'm sure that day is going to be especially hard. I still just can't believe that he's been gone a year. I've had such a flood of emotions lately. Just when I started to feel like I was making progress in my grief counseling, these landmark days happen. It sure is tough!

The past week and a half has been unbelievable here. Many of you may find this hard to believe and that's ok, but we've been given signs of Jalen on a daily basis. We've had 7 "occurrences" so far. Here's what happened with the first one. Bruce got up one morning and walked into his office to find that his TV was on. big deal. The thing that got him was that it was on the BET channel. For those of you who don't know, BET plays rap music--Jalen just loved rap! Bruce and I am not fans of rap, but we used to watch that channel with him just to see him dance. We haven't had that channel on since Jalen left us. Seeing this, really shook Bruce up and brought him to tears! During the next several nights, when I would pass Jeanette and Jalen's room, the light would be on. Please keep in mind that Jeanette has been staying with a friend for about a month now and we never go in her room. Jeanette's light works on a remote and, after it happened 3 times, I even took the battery out of it. The next night, the light was on again! Is that wild or what?!?! The other morning, at about 6:00 a.m., I was sitting in my garage looking at the newspaper and I heard some music. At first, I thought it was coming from outside, but as I approached the garage door, the music wasn't coming from there. It was coming from one of the huge bins of Jalen's toys that we have stacked in the corner of the garage. The song was "The Wheels On The Bus" which played from his little yellow school bus. He loved that toy and that song. When he would push it, it would play. I started to cry and then I started talking to Jalen. The music stopped. I sat back down and tried to gain my composure. The music started again. I, then, started singing it to him. After the song stopped, I sat there for 10 more minutes and the song never played again. This also happened today when I was in there. I've been sitting in the garage reading the newspaper, before work, for a year now and this has NEVER happened. Call it what you want, but we're taking it as a sign...a VERY welcomed sign!

Thank you for checking on us...take care...

(Angel Jalen's "Am-Maw" forever and ever)

~~~Hello my sweet "Poppy"...Thank you for letting us feel your love. We miss you and love you SOOOOO much!

Saturday, April 24, 2004 2:33 PM CDT

A year ago, at this time, we were in PICU with our precious Jalen. We had been given the news that Jalen had bleeding in his brain and, while we were trying to remain hopeful that Jalen wouldn't leave us, my hope was dwindling fast. As it turned out, the bleeding in his brain stopped and he was able to be taken off of the vent. His responsiveness came back. He would lift his little feet for us to kiss. That baby just loved when we blew on his feet and kissed them. How I would give anything to be able to do that now. I have to watch other grandmothers with their grandchildren. While I'm happy for them, it really tugs at my heart. When other people are taking their children/grandchildren to the zoo, I'm sitting at the cemetery...talking and singing to my baby. When Jeanette and Jalen would be out of the hospital and at home, Jalen and I would have our "special time" at night. I would hold him and sit in front of my computer...just playing song after song. Some country, some rock, some children's songs...all types of music...and I would just sing song after song to him. He would in my lap with his arms around me and look at my mouth and face. Sometimes he would hum along with me. He just loved it and so did I. Bruce told me that I had finally found someone who liked my singing. ;)

Now I have to try to move on and put on a smile like all is well in the world. I'm still getting weekly grief counseling, but the ache in my heart remains the same. Everything is not well in this world that we live in. There are far too many children and adults battling these horrible diseases and far too many families left behind to struggle with their losses.

Now I have to look at my daughter and see the sadness of losing the love of her life. How my heart breaks for her! Jalen was the perfect baby...such a lovable little boy who was just crazy about his mommy. Jeanette is still home with me and will be starting massage therapy next month. She'll be attending night school for 6 months. She's been told that they're using this with cancer kids and that's what she wants to do. I'm very proud of her.

Now I have to see the sadness in the eyes of everyone who knew and loved Jalen. Bruce, the original Mr. Toughguy, breaking down because he misses his little buddy so very much. Jalen loved his Am-Paw SO much! When Bruce would walk into the room, Jalen would light up. My mother and father who still find it hard to talk of Jalen without crying. It's never easy to see your parents cry. So, so many more people--some who never even met Jalen. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for loving our baby so much!

While I'm thankful that this beautiful little boy was brought into our lives and that we were truly blessed with the time we had with him, the pain of him not being with us now is unbearable. I will cherish my memories for the rest of my life.

(Jalen's "Am-Maw" forever and ever)

Jalen sweetheart~~~Thank you for letting us feel your love and for giving us little signs of this. I miss you and love you so much, Poppy!!!

********************NEW PICTURES********************

Sunday, April 4, 2004 9:20 pm EST

Yesterday, marked 10 months that our beautiful Jalen earned his angel wings. It's still so hard to believe! I really was a believer in the whole "time heals" thing, but I'm not so sure I feel that way anymore. My heart aches so much and I have this overwhelming feeling of wanting/needing to hold and kiss him some more. I pray, each night, that he'll come into my dreams so I can do just that.

I've had 3 dreams of Jalen so far, but as of yet, I haven't had the dream I long hold and kiss him. The first time, I was walking through a park on my way to a picnic that he and Jeanette were at. I was walking so fast because I just couldn't wait to see him. As I neared the table, there he was, sitting on the top of the table with his back to me. I got to about 10 feet away and I woke up! As you can imagine, I was pissed!!! In the second dream...I was in his oncologist's office with him. I was in the waiting room and heard him crying. As I neared the exam room, I could hear the nurse telling him that everything was ok and that he shouldn't cry. I walked in, he looked at me, stopped crying and gave me the biggest, most beautiful smile. That was the end of that dream. Short but sweet. Oh how I miss that little smile. The third dream was extremely weird, but the most comforting. I was trying to ice skate (I've never ice skated a day in my life!) and was really struggling. When all of a sudden, Jalen's presence was with me. Though I couldn't see him, I was holding him and we were skating, beautifully, together. Several times through the dream, I would stumble my way onto the ice and then he would join me. No one could "see" him but me. It was the most comforting feeling...I could even smell him and feel him.

Last night, I was at a birthday party for a friend who was turning 40 and there was a pregnant woman there. I've met her before a few times. I, immediately, went up to her and asked her if she was going to donate her umbilical cord blood. She had heard very little about this so I explained the importance of it. I told her that it was the gift of love and life. She told me that she's going to ask her obstetrician about it on her next visit. I've emailed the Cord Blood Registry and tomorrow, I'm calling the National Marrow Donor Program to try to obtain informational brochures. I'm going to work on a letter and then send the letters and brochures out to local obstetrician offices and hospitals. Too many people still don't know about and/or understand the importance of this and the thought of the huge number of umbilical cord blood that's discarded as garbage, makes me ill. We really need to try to get the word out.

Thank you for checking in on us...
God Bless...
{Jalen's "Am-Maw" forever and ever}

Thursday, February 19, 2004 10:54 PM CST

March 2, 2004 11:16 PM
Well, today was my birthday and I am glad that it's over. I had a good day and got some really great things, but I don't like celebrating anything. It doesn't feel right to celebrate without Jalen. We always had so much fun doing things together and I hate doing them without him. I remember my last B-day party. I was going to go out but I changed my mind because I wanted to stay home with my baby. Today I wore my T-shirt that has his picture on it. That was as close as possible to having him with me all day. One day I will get used to all of this.

Thursday, February 19, 2004 10:54 PM CST

I added a picture of Jalen's bench with his Valentine's decorations.

Hey everyone. It's been a while since I wrote last. Well, I hope that everyone enjoyed their Valentine's Day. Mine was ok. Could have been better if my Valentine was with me. I am still not used to spending my days without Jalen. Especially holidays. I still feel like im going to wake up and see him. Then I start to think about the day that he went to Heaven and it starts to feel real. It's just so unfair. I feel so lost in life. I don't know what to do with my life. I know that I am young and I have time to think about it, but I don't always feel like it. I saw how fast Jalen's life went. I just want to be happy again. I know that I will be one day.

I did start taking a kickboxing class to occupy time. It's twice a week. I have never in life worked out this hard. I hurt so bad during the week. But it's so much fun! I do it with a couple of my friends so that makes it even better.

Well, thanks for keeping up with us and please pray for all of the other children fighting.

God Bless,
(Angel Jalen's Mommy)

Saturday, January 31, 2004 8:00 AM EST

Good morning...

I just wanted to thank all of you for the prayers being sent to Katia Solomon and her family. She is, currently, going through conditioning and her cord blood transplant is scheduled for Thursday, February 5th.

I have "met" so many incredible children and families through Caringbridge. Please know that all of you have a very special place in my heart.

We are doing as well as can be expected. I still can't believe that it's been almost 8 months since Jalen earned his angel wings. I just keep thinking of what he would look like, now, and how he would be talking and running all over the place.

My heart feels so empty without my little man. Before I had ever heard of AML, I was the happiest woman on earth. I looked forward, each day, to waking up to that beautiful little face and couldn't wait to get home from work, each evening, to those smiles and kisses. I was truly blessed.

Yesterday, I was missing Jalen more than my usual. I went to the mall at lunchtime, with my girlfriends from work, and saw a little boy around Jalen's age. He was running around and just so happy. I looked at his mother and thought to myself, "Do you even have a clue as to how incredibly lucky you are?" After work, as I was driving to the cemetery, I passed a daycare center. Seeing all those children playing outside, thoughts raced through my mind of pulling in there and picking Jalen up from school. Crazy, huh?

Though I'm thankful that Jalen is no longer in pain and safe with God and all my loved ones in Heaven, I still just don't understand why he had to be chosen for all of this. I'm sure, when it's my time to join him, it will all make sense, but for now, it just doesn't.

I, finally, had a dream of Jalen! I was with him at his doctor's appointment and heard him crying in the other room. I went to him and as soon as he saw me, he stopped crying and smiled the biggest smile. That was it...I woke up. I pray that on his next visit, I'm able to hold him and kiss him. I would give anything for that!

Thanks for listening and for caring...
(Angel Jalen's "Am-Maw" forever and ever)

~~Jalen~~Thank you for visiting me in my dreams, Poppy. It was so wonderful to see your beautiful face again. Do you think that, on your next visit, Am-Maw can have a big hug and kiss? We all miss you and love you SOOO very much!

January 11, 2004 6:40 PM

I would like to ask for extra prayers for someone who has a big part of my heart. Here's an update from Katia's page...


As most of us know, Katia's parents, Tracy & Myron, are amazing people. Drop by her page...I'm sure they would love to hear from you and they, certainly, welcome all prayers.

Thank you! God bless you all.

(Angel Jalen's "Am-Maw" forever and ever)

Monday, December 22, 2003 8:30 PM

Well, yesterday was a special day indeed. One of my best friends, Mary, and I ventured over to St. Petersburg (4 hours) to see the Solomon family. As I'm sure you all know, Katia a precious little girl battling AML. We decided to give her and her family an early Christmas. Jeanette was supposed to go with us, but came down with a cold. Since we can't take ANY chances of Katia getting sick, Jeanette stayed home. We were both heartbroken about that! She has yet to meet Tracy and her wonderful family, but I'm confident that she'll get that chance soon. Hopefully, next time we go, Katia will be home--totally engrafted from her upcoming cord blood transplant and totally CANCER FREE!!!

We had the most wonderful visit. Mary and I were there in September, but, at that time, we didn't get a chance to meet Katia's father, Myron, and her sisters, Sharayah & Tatiana. This time--we did. What an incredible family! I feel completely comfortable with them and feel like I've known them for years and years. I'm truly blessed and very grateful to have them in my life! Thank you, Tracy & Myron, for allowing us to spend some time with your very special family!

Katia had many, many presents to open. She had been given Benedryl for the sniffles so her energy level was a little low. Thank you, Jeanette, for all the goodies you sent. Thank you, Ilene, for the gifts you sent--she absolutely loved the My Little Pony bobbleheads and thank you to Arlene for the books--she really loved them also and they'll come in very handy when she goes to transplant. After she was disconnected from her machine and her daddy and sisters arrived, her energy level went WAY up! It was SO wonderful watching her open the remainder of her presents with her sisters and watching them all play together. What a loving family!!! What, totally, made my day was the hug and kiss I got from Katia right before we left. That little girl has stolen my heart! Thank you, Mary, for driving and for going with me. Maybe next time, we won't get lost! Ya think? lol

Katia is, currently, undergoing her pre-transplant radiation and her transplant is scheduled for January 13th. Please keep this very special little girl and her incredible family in your prayers. Thank you!!!

Please check out Jalen's photo page. There is a picture of our Christmas tree this year. Actually, the picture doesn't do the tree justice because it's filled with angels and butterflies and is absolutely gorgeous. There is also a picture of Jalen from last Christmas. We didn't think he would be home for Christmas, last year, and when we were told that he would be, we immediately, put up a tree! Jalen's "Am-Paw", Bruce, even strung lights inside the house and Jalen loved them! Since we couldn't take him out for professional Christmas pictures, Jeanette and I took our own. I think they came out beautifully.

This has been an especially tough month--December 3rd marked 6 months since Jalen left us, December 6th was a special "Forget Me Not" ceremony put on by Hospice and December 9th marked Jalen's 2nd birthday. Christmas Day will be a tough one also. My mind is racing, constantly, with memories of last year and thoughts of what Christmas would have been like this year. Thank you all for keeping my family in your prayers. We hope all of you have a very safe and happy holiday.

My dearest Jalen~~I miss you and love you so much, Poppy! I'm still waiting for you in my dreams. I hope you like our Christmas tree. The angels and butterflies signify you and all your angel friends. We all miss all of you SOOOO much!

(Jalen's "Am-Maw" forever and ever)

Friday, December 12, 2003 8:40 PM CST

Thank you all so much for signing Jalen's guestbook. Jalen's birthday was SO hard. It did make it a little easier seeing those other children, though. My mother and I had to bring Jalen's wagon up to the floor because we had so much stuff for them. I handed out everything and each and every child thanked me with the biggest smile on their faces. It was the best feeling. I even made a 20 year old boy, with cancer, lying in a bed, smile. I felt so good when I left. Thank you, Mom, for helping me out with all of this. I know it was very a very difficult day for you--I love you.

Then, my father had decorated the cemetery. There was a table with a big cake and Sponge Bob on it. The cake said "In celebration of the day you blessed us". He had placed a red velvet blanket on the spot where Jalen is and we put candles around it. So many people came. We sang Happy Birthday and let our balloons go. Dale and I wrote on a big #2 balloon and we got to release that. As people left, they took one of the candles to remember this day and light in memory of Jalen. It was so beautiful. Thank you, Dad/Grandpa, for making it so very special & beautiful.

God Bless you all!

Jalen~~ Hi baby. I hope that you had a wonderful 2nd birthday. I wish that we would have been together. I hope that you had the biggest and best chocolate cake ever and that you made a great big mess! You were always good at that. I love you SO much baby and I miss you more than ever.

I love you Jalen

Friday, Dec. 5 8:15 AM

Hi everyone. I need to write to release some stress before I go to work. Yesterday was such a horrible day. I had 16 two year olds that wouldn't listen at all! Half of them didn't even take a nap. We had biting, fingers caught in a door, and one kid busted his lip wide open. To make the day even worse, a 3 year old had a seizure and was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. Everyone was so shaken up. All I could think about was when Jalen had seizures in PICU and how scared I was. I just hope today is a better day.

Jalen's 2nd birthday would be next Tuesday and we will be visiting our wonderful floor. I had asked family to still buy presents, but for all ages. I printed up "in loving memory stickers" that I will be putting on the back of everything and giving them to the kids. My mother is even bringing lunch for the nurses. I wouldn't want to spend the day with any other people. Jalen's 1st b-day was spent in that hospital and we had so much fun. I just really hope that seeing those kids smile helps me through that day. So far, it is going to be the hardest. We will all be meeting at the cemetery for a balloon release and candlelight ceremony at 5:30 pm. Anyone who would like to come, is more than welcomed.

Tonight the cemetery is having a candle ceremony thing where they light up the whole cemetery with candles and invite all of the families. It starts at 7 pm at Memory Gardens (corner of 10th and Kirk). Once again, if anyone would like to join us, no problem. Jalen's bench is in the very back behind the trees. I bought all Christmas flowers that I will be bringing tonight. I love buying flowers for his bench. I think that it relieves stress in a way.

I would like to ask you all for some prayers for my Papa. He is in and out of the hospital. Please pray that he can feel better and all the complications stop! I love my family with all of my heart and don't know what I would do if anything happened to anyone.

God Bless,
(Angel Jalen's Mommy)

I love you Jalen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2003 7:42 AM

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours. Though this has, easily, been the most difficult and worst year of my life, there ARE things to be thankful for this year.

-- I'm thankful to God for bringing our little Angel Jalen into my life. In his 17 1/2 months with us, I was given a love that I have never known before. Jalen has touched so many lives and, for this, I'll forever be thankful.

-- I'm thankful for my wonderful, loving family.

-- I'm thankful for my friends. The support and love I receive from them is something I, sincerely, appreciate and something I'll never forget.

-- I'm thankful for my Caringbridge family. I feel so blessed that all of you have been brought into my life. Thank you!

It has been almost 6 months since Jalen earned his angel wings. It almost doesn't seem possible. Last year, on this day, Bruce (Jalen's Am-Paw) and I cooked Thanksgiving dinner and brought it down to Jeanette and Jalen at Miami Children's Hospital. Jalen was just, officially, diagnosed with AML and was going through his first chemo treatment. We were so scared and so worried for him. He was so happy to see us--I'll never forget the look on his face when we walked into his room. Such a beautiful boy--so happy and so full of love.

Jalen...thank you for the love you have brought to our lives. We all miss you SO very much!!!

(Angel Jalen's "Am-Maw" forever and ever)

Saturday, November 1, 2003 8:40 AM CST

**Halloween 2002 pictures added in photo album**

Hi. I hope that everyone had a great Halloween. For those of you with kids, I hope you had lots of fun, took lots of pictures and I hope your kids got more candy than they could have imagined. For those of you that have lost children, my heart goes out to you. I know that I spent a good part of the night crying. I thought that I was going to be fine and I wanted to hand out candy. The first (and last) time that I opened the door, it was a little boy, about Jalen's age, in his stroller, dressed up as tigger. I lost it and decided to stay far away from the door. Jalen never really got to celebrate Halloween. This time last year, Jalen had already been in the hospital for almost 2 weeks. I bought him a clown costume that he would have looked so cute in, but due to the IV in his hand, he could only wear the hat. They did some things with the kids in the hospital, but Jalen didn't feel well at all. I know that if I would have been able to take Jalen trick-or-treating I would have had my hands full. He was a professional at taking wrappers off of candy bars. I remember that one time in the hospital, my mother brought me 2 candy bars from some fundraiser. Well, I put one on the bed next to Jalen. I didn't think anything of it. When I turned around, the wrapper was off and he was eating the chocolate. He loved chocolate!

As for me, I am just getting over being really sick. I have been out of work all week with strep. I even went to the ER Wednesday because I couldn't keep anything down. I can't wait to see what the bill for that will be like. I don't have insurance. Oh well. It was worth it.

Take care,
Angel Jalen's Mommy

I LOVE YOU JALEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2003 11:01 AM CST

I finally went to the hospital to bring some gifts. It was great. I saw some of the kids that I haven't seen since my last visit. I also met some new ones. There are so many new kids that I just wanted to cry. They don't deserve this.

I have really been feeling bad lately. I was told that 4 - 6 months is the hardest but I didn't believe it at the time. It's hitting me physically. I'm always tired or I have headaches or something hurts. I feel like I'm so old and I'm only 21. I can't do anything that my friends do. They stay out all night and sometimes don't sleep at all. Well, I tried to get a weekend job that started at 7 AM and I was so sick and had such a headache by 1 PM. I try so hard to be "normal" but it's not working. I feel so overwhelmed at times that I don't know what to do.

I found my video camera the other night and hooked it up to my TV. It was my labor to Jalen's Barney Party. My mother and I just sat there and cried. I saw his first bath and heard his first cry again. Then there he was at 13 months old playing and dancing and laughing. All sounds that I thought that I would never hear again. He also said "mama" in that video. I got chills all over my body. I thought that I would never hear that again. Now every time that I get upset, I can listen to that. I need to get it copied, though, because I'm going to be listening to that a lot.

Take care,

Friday, October 24, 2003, 7:00 A.M.

Bruce (Jalen's Am-Paw) and I arrived at our rented chalet in Gatlinburg, TN. The name of the chalet was "A Victorian Place". It was beautiful! As we walked upstairs with the luggage, we were stopped in our tracks. There before us was a wall of hanging angel statues. Above one of the bedroom doors was an angel statue--that, of course, was the bedroom we slept in. We came downstairs to check out the mountain view and patio. As I went to open the door, I saw a single ladybug. I, immediately, thought of sweet Katia. (It was a long drive and I had lots of time for a lot of prayers--many of which were for her.) I, then, opened the blinds and there were many ladybugs on the inside windows. Forget about outside, they were everywhere! Thank God they were ladybugs and not bees--I would have freaked! As we walked downstairs, we noticed a beautiful tapestry of an angel. All of these "signs" overwhelmed me and I completely lost it! I, definitely, felt Jalen's presence there and I know that he was telling us that he's ok.

Jalen sweetheart...I'm holding you in my heart until I can hold you in my arms again.

Love always,

Thursday, October 2, 2003, 11:19 A.M.

In Loving Memory of You ©
by Debbie Heydrick

Quietly I'm remembering you
in the silence of my heart.
Each thought of you, a treasure
while we are now apart.

At times I'm filled with longing;
Your face I'd love to see,
To feel your warmth, to hear your voice,
to have you here with me.

But God has a plan; He created you
and numbered all your days.
May he hold you in His loving arms
and surround me with His grace.

With the hope of reunion in Heaven one day,
I entrust you in His care.
Cherished memories of you live on in my heart.
Your life is a gift we share.

Tomorrow is 4 months and I still can't believe it. I miss Jalen so much. I still feel like im going to see him playing when I come home or when I wake up in the mornings. It's so hard to believe that I will never, in my lifetime, kiss him again, or hold his hard, or hear his voice or even see him smile. All that is left is pictures and memories. That is so hard to deal with. I only had Jalen for 17 months. I would give anything to get him back. Really.

I love you Jalen!

Saturday, September 27, 2003 11:16 AM CDT
Hello Everyone. I just want to start by thanking everyone for all of the wonderful crafts. I have received about 5 boxes full of craft items and gifts to bring to the hospital. I can't believe this. I can't wait to see the smiles on the children's faces. They are going to be so happy. You all are such wonderful people. I cried myself to sleep last night because I am so thankful for all of the people that have become part of my life. It's so hard to think that 1 year ago I had no idea about all of the children suffering and about all of the good people in this world. I wish that I had Jalen here with me to help all of the other children. He would have enjoyed it so much. He always cheered me up when I felt bad and I know he would have done the same for anyone else.

I also want to thank Sandhya for the gift that she sent me. That meant so much and will be so helpful. Sandhya is the mother of a little girl named Manaswini. Manaswini is a couple months older then Jalen and has ALL. She is in remission and doing fine. That was Jalen's girlfriend. They were so cute together. Every time that we would pass her room, Jalen would wave and blow kisses. He loved her so much. One day while in the playroom, we put Jalen next to Manaswini and turned on the music (she likes to dance as much as Jalen did). They held hands and danced together for a while. I just sat there with tears in my eyes watching those bald heads moving back and forth. It was the absolute cutest thing that I have ever seen!

Well, Thanks again to everyone for being part of my life. I am so blessed to have met such wonderful people. God bless you all.

I miss you baby. I hope that you see all of the wonderful people who care about you and who are doing such wonderful things in your memory. I hope that you are having fun and being good. I love you and can't wait to see you.
Love Always,

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Well, "Light The Night" was a very big success! First of all, let me thank all those who helped us. Whether it was walking in Jalen's loving memory or donating to the cause, we sincerely appreciate it all. We are so blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives. We love all of you!

The West Palm Beach walk raised a lot of money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. We pray that it puts us that much closer to a cure!!! I never imagined there would be SO many people there. We saw several of our friends--Team Seth...what a wonderful job you did, Ruthie and Scott...We loved the train!!! We also saw beautiful little Savanah and all her Savanah's Bananas. It was a very emotional evening, but it was so wonderful to see so many white survivor balloons. I was doing ok until I signed a message to my angel baby on the memorial banner at the Mission Tent. It does feel wonderful to have taken part in such an important event, though.

Today, I brought my red "Light The Night" balloon to the cemetery, wrote a message to Jalen on it, and tied it to one of his butterfly stakes.

God bless...
Angel Jalen's "Am-Maw"

Tuesday, September 16, 2003 9:00 AM


I had a really great weekend. Dale and I went to Orlando for a much needed vacation (thank you Regina for the money to do that). We didn't go to any parks because I didn't think that I could handle that. We did hit all of the outlets. That was fun! I love shopping. Even though I didn't get too much. We went to WonderWorks. It has science type games inside. Dale went on the virtual rollercoaster. I passed on that one. It was really hard having fun without Jalen. I kept pointing out things that Jalen would have loved to do. It didn't really feel right being there without him. I must have said his name over 100 times in 2 days.

Well, Light The Night is coming up. I have to start decorating his banner tonight. Im really excited. It's going to be a lot of fun.

Thanks to everyone for still keeping up with us. It helps to know that people still care.

Jalen~~ I love you baby. I wish that you were with us last weekend. I know you were watching though. Be good big boy. Love, Mommy

God Bless,
(Angel Jalen's Mommy)

Saturday, September 6, 2003 10:24 AM CDT

Well, I have now made 2 trips to St.Mary's (the hospital that Jalen was treated at) and I can't wait to go back. My mother even went with me the last time. It was very scary. So many feelings came over me and it was so hard being there without Jalen. But once I got to the floor and saw all of the nurses, I felt so much better. I even saw some of the kids that I am very close with. I am so comfortable there and I feel so at home. I never imagined myself being comfortable in a hospital.

A couple things there upset me. First, they are on a different floor that is disgusting. Hopefully they will be moved soon. Second, there are no crafts for the kids to make. The playroom and crafts were such a big thing to the kids. That is how I got through most of my days. I would just sit in there with all of the kids and make things. The kids couldn't wait to get in there. They would have so much fun, even on their worst days. I looked in the playroom when I was there and saw nothing for them to do. There's toys but mainly for the little kids. I asked one of the nurses about it and she said they have a hard enough time getting coloring books. There's no way for them to get crafts. I have a few things to bring in but im looking for more. Please, if you have anything laying around your house, glitter, paper, foil, clothespins, cardboard, tissue paper, even old wrapping paper, I would appreciate it and im sure the kids would love it.

Jalen~~ I LOVE YOU BABY! It's now 3 months since you left. I miss you so much. Please watch over us and give us the strength that we need. It's so hard here without you.

~~Please continue to pray for our friend Katia. She really needs it.~~

Tuesday, August 26, 2003 9:02 AM CDT

Hi everyone. Im finally getting a chance to write. My mother has been hogging it! Just kidding. She's been doing an excellent job of updating when it's too hard for me. Thanks Mom!

Well, I finally had a dream about Jalen. Saturday night I had a dream that he kissed me. I don't remember too much. Just that he looked healthy and I asked him for a kiss and he kissed me. I wish that I could remember more. I wish that I could have more dreams like that. I have a really hard time sleeping. I toss and turn all night and wake up pretty early. Too many things run through my head for me to be able to sleep. Oh well.

Jalen~ I love you baby and I miss you so much. I wish that we were playing with vroom vrooms right now. Every time I see something in the store that I think you would like, I pick it up. Then I realize that I can't give it to you. I even saw the cutest shoes that I know you would like. Remember when we had matching shoes? You were so little but I had to get us matching shoes...Even if your first pair cost me $50. It was worth it. I still don't understand why you aren't here with me, but I know you are in good hands. I love you baby!!!
Love Always,
Your Mommy

**********UPDATE********** 6:30 p.m.
I just learned that beautiful little Katia has relapsed in her spinal fluid. She will be admitted tomorrow and they'll be starting treatment immediately. She needs a transplant and they don't have a match.

My heart is absolutely broken by this news. This family has become very important to us. Please pray hard that she can beat this monster once again. (The link to her webpage is at the bottom of this page.)

Thank you...

Friday, August 15, 2003 9:05 PM CDT

Taking things day by's all any of us can do, right? It's been 2 1/2 months since Jalen got his angel wings and I wish I could say that life without him has gotten any easier. Each day still brings many tears. I think about how much Jalen would be talking by now. I'm so sad that we'll never get the chance to see him hear him talk up a storm. How I miss him saying "Am-Maw". My heart is so heavy when I think of these things...but my mind just keeps taking me there.

We released balloons, at the cemetery, last Saturday. Jalen would have been 20 months old. Several of us meet on the 9th of every month and do this in Jalen's memory. I'm hoping that Jalen's memorial bench will be done soon. I'm sure it's going to be so beautiful.

We've been putting a lot of focus on "Light The Night". If you want to help our Light the Night team, please send a check payable to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (To our address: 161 Seminole Lakes Drive, Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411). Any amount is a good one and would be greatly appreciated. Thank you to all who have help thus far! I'm sure it will be an extremely emotional evening, but well worth it. Anything we can do to help find a cure for leukemia and/or do something in Jalen's loving memory, is something we are compelled to do. It's so nice to see my daughter have the drive back in her. She's been having such a hard time and my heart breaks for her. Nights are especially hard on her as Jalen always slept with her. Even in the hospital, they always shared a bed.

I want to say a special "thank you" to the women I work with. They are true friends who loved Jalen very much. They give me so much support and I don't know how I would get through the day without them. Thanks guys...I love all of you very much.

Our deepest heartfelt thanks to all those signing in and offering words of support. We continue to keep all of the children battling illness in our thoughts and prayers everyday. To those of you who have lost loved ones, we hold you close to our hearts.

God bless all of you...

Sunday, August 3, 2003 6:38 AM CDT

Well, it's hard to believe that our beautiful little Jalen has been gone two months today. It all still feels like a very bad dream to me. I miss that sweet little face SO much! I was reading some old instant message logs, last night, and came across one memory of when I was saying goodnight to Jalen in the hospital. I asked him for a kiss and he, immediately, spit his binky out and gave me an open mouth kiss. It was too cute and I'll cherish that memory all the days of my life. I miss his kisses the most. I still pray, every night, that he'll come visit me in my dreams and give me a big kiss. No luck so far. :'-(

Jeanette and I will be starting group counseling at the end of the month. This will be in addition to the individual counseling that we, currently, receive once a week. The group counseling sessions will be twice a month and will be more like an informational series. Raeann, our counselor, tells me that one week we'll talk about anger. . .another week we'll talk about how to get through the holidays, etc. Sounds like some very helpful information.

Thank you, again, for your continued prayers and for caring about us. . .

Saturday, July 26, 2003 6:05 AM CDT

Hello all...Am-Maw here...

Just wanted to let you know that we are doing ok and that we SO appreciate all of the continued thoughts and prayers. We have come in contact with so many wonderful people through Jalen. He truly touched so many lives.

Jeanette and I am getting grief counseling. I can't really say that I feel it is helping yet, but it is still so early and we have to give it a try. The pain, loss and emptiness is overwhelming at times. This house is just so quiet. I feel like Jalen took a huge part of me when he left. Everyone misses our sweet angel SO much.

We finalized Jalen's memorial bench (his graveside marker) and I know it's going to be absolutely gorgeous. We were sure to include some of the things that Jalen loved like--a music scale (with the first 6 notes from the Barney song "I love you, you love me" because he loved music so very much, a duck with the words "Quack Quack" under it and a car with the words "Vroom Vroom" under it. That is all on the benchtop--along with the saying "In the hearts of all who knew him...his memory lives, his love endures". There will even be a small picture of him on the front. I'm very proud of the way Lake Worth Monument brought my sketch to life and they have been a pleasure to deal with. I know that Jalen will love it. I'll be sure to post a picture of it when it's done.

Thank you all for caring about my family...
You're all so special to us...
God Bless,

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

I've been somewhat able to get through the days. Yesterday wasn't to bad. Dale spent the morning with me so I really didn't think about breaking down. I was even at work a half hour early. I did cry last night but that's normal.

I still feel like my life is pointless. I feel like the short time that I had Jalen was a dream. Like he was never here. It went by so fast. There was so much that we had to do. I hear songs on the radio that I know he would have liked and I turn the volume up all the way so he can hear it. I miss just riding in the car and dancing with him. He used to have people in other cars laughing at him.

Jalen changed a lot about me. Especially the way I look for germs. I carry antibacterial with me everywhere. I also freak out when one of my friends children have fevers. I don't say anything because I don't want to scare them and I know fevers are common and usually don't mean anything. I just know that my 7 1/2 months of hell started from a fever.

Jalen~~ Hi baby. I feel the strength that you are giving me. It's so hard being without you, but I know you are always around me. I would give anything for a hug or a kiss. I hope that you are having fun and being good. Know that I love you always!

Tuesday, July 8, 2003 10:08 AM CDT

I am already having an awful day and I feel like writing. First, I HATE TUESDAY!!!!! I am a crazy person on Tuesday. I cry at anything. I really hope that I get over this because I make myself sick crying so much. Second, all of our fish in our fountain are dead. I found the last two this morning. Of course I started crying. Finding something dead on a Tuesday is not good for me. Well, I guess they are really Jalen's fish now.
I am hurting so bad. It gets so much worse every day. I still see him so clearly. Right up until he was buried. I see him healthy and sick. I remember everything we did together. Every night before I go to sleep I talk to him and then kiss the air. I hope he's kissing me back. I don't know how much more I can handle. I want him back so bad. I can't move on. I am nothing without him. Jalen made my life complete. I have nothing without him. I don't want other kids...I want him. He was so perfect. I cant deal with this.
Jalen would be 19 months old tomorrow. Im supposed to go to the cemetery. We will see how that goes.

Jalen~~~ I love you~ I love you~ I love you~ I love you~ I love you~ I love you~ I love you~ I love you~ I love you~ I love you~ I love you~ I love you~ I love you~ I love you~. And I will forever.

Sunday, July 6, 2003 5:05 PM CDT


It has now been one month since my sweet baby left me. It's still not getting any easier, but im making it day by day.

Jalen's Am-Paw made a little fountain by our front door in memory of Jalen. It has an angel that pours the water down into the bigger part. He also added 4 fish (koi). It's really nice. I just wish that we were doing this with Jalen instead of for Jalen. There isn't a minute that goes by that I don't think about him. I would give anything to have him back.

Work is going ok. The kids are not too bad. It's nice being around my friends all day. They listen to me when im going on and on. It helps a lot.

Dale and I really appreciate all of the entries in the guest book and all of the cards sent to us.

Jalen~~~ I LOVE YOU BABY!!!! I miss you SO much. It's so hard to get through the days without you. I feel the strength that you send to me every day. I feel you by me at all times. I know that you watch me and look after me. My little angel. We hope that you like your fountain. Mommy will make sure that nothing happens to your fish. I love you baby...
Love, Mommy

Monday, June 23, 2003 9:44 PM CDT

Well, I started work today. Im working at the daycare that I was working at when Jalen got sick. Im only working part time. They put me with 2 year olds. I couldn't handle it. I ended up walking out of the room. My baby should be there enjoying all of the games and dancing to the music. He was so much more well behaved (and so much cuter) then those kids. Why isn't he there with me? I don't understand this. I still don't feel like it's real. It's all one big mistake and Jalen should have never gotten sick. I don't believe "it's to teach me valuable lessons" and "to make me a stronger person." I could have done that with him still here. I never took Jalen for granted. I never chose myself over him. Each day is harder to face. Especially when I go somewhere without him. Or when I go to a store and can't buy him anything. Jalen always got a prize from the store. Even if I went to the drug store, I would come back with something for him. I miss that so much. I know that I was chosen to be the mother of this perfect angel, But why me. I would have been completely content having a brat. That might sound bad. I am very thankful for having Jalen, I just wish he was still here.

I joined a gym finally. It really helps relieve stress. I know that I will be there a lot!

Jalen, Mommy loves you. I hope you are having lots of fun. Im sorry that I haven't been to the cemetery. I can't take it. All I want to do is hold you. I miss you so much and can't wait to see you again. You have my heart.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003 12:45 AM CDT

I really want to thank everyone for all of the thoughtful words. Im sorry that I don't update as often. It is so hard. I miss Jalen so much and it hurts so bad. It's now 2 weeks and I still feel like he's going to come back. I wish he would. Im having such problems going to the cemetery. I get so emotional there and just want to dig everything up and hold Jalen in my arms. Even if it is just his body. That's the most beautiful body in the world and I want it back. I miss him so much.

Thank you Jeanine for the beautiful angel picture and the bear.

Monday, June 9, 2003 10:51 PM CDT

Mom, please don't feel guilty
It was just my time to go.
I see you are still feeling sad,
And the tears just seem to flow.

We all come to earth for our lifetime,
And for some it's not many years
I don't want you to keep crying
You are shedding so many tears.
I haven't really left you
Even though it may seem so.
I have just gone to my heavenly home,
And I'm closer to you than you know.
Just believe that when you say my name
I'm standing next to you,
I know you long to see me,
But there's nothing I can do.

But I’ll still send you messages
And hope you understand,
That when your time comes to “cross over,”
I’ll be there to take your hand.

Jalen's funeral was so beautiful. He looked so handsome in his white tux. I just kept picturing him walking around in that tux. He looked like such a big boy. I couldn't kiss him enough. Up until they closed his casket, I was kissing him. Then we all went to the cemetery. I stayed for everything. We threw roses in and mine landed right on top of his casket. They asked me if I wanted to leave before they put the dirt in, But I didn't. It was the hardest thing that I have ever seen. I felt really weak and someone that was behind me held me up. I just kept seeing his face in my head and wondering how all of this happened and how my perfect little child was in that ground. I wanted so bad to jump in there with him. Im his mother and as a mother I should be going through everything for him or at least with him. I know that he is in a better place, but he needs his mommy. How great is it without his mommy? And I need him so bad. I cleaned every part of my room and have been doing anything to keep busy. I've been listening to the radio a lot and when a song comes on that he liked, I stand up and dance like a crazy person. Then I sit and cry.

Today, we went to the cemetery to be with Jalen on his 18 month birthday. We brought balloons and wrote messages on them. Then we all let them go into the air and up to Jalen. My father told me to watch them closely and when I see them go down a little, that it is Jalen sitting on top of it and riding it up. That was a nice thought. I know that he liked his balloons. He always enjoyed them. He would hit anyone with the balloons. Even the doctor when he came into the room. He used to hit them pretty hard to.

Tomorrow will be 1 week since Jalen left us. I cant believe it. I see his face so clearly and hear his little voice. Every time that I go into my room, I expect to see him. I talk to him at all times. I miss him so much. I feel completely empty inside. I can actually feel my heart broken. I need him back so bad.

Jalen, I hope you are having a wonderful 18 month birthday and I hope you are eating good chocolate cake. You better keep that white tux clean!!! Don't spill any juice or chocolate on it. Mommy won't be able to clean it for a while. I love you and I miss you papa bear.

Wednesday, June 4, 2003 6:23 PM CDT

Jalen King Passed away yesterday, 6/3/03, at 3:08 PM. It was the saddest moment of my life.
All services will be held at:
Dorsey-E. Earl Smith Memory Gardens
3041 Kirk Road
Lake Worth, FL 33461
Viewing will be held Thursday 6/5/03 from 6 - 8 Pm
Funeral will be held Friday 6/6/03 at 10:00 AM

For the last couple days, Jalen was really going down hill. Monday night, the doctor came over and we agreed to clean out Jalen's mouth. There was so much hard stuff in there from him not being able to get it wet. Well, as the doctor pushed down on Jalen's swollen gums, they started bleeding. The bleeding continued through the whole night. The doctor asked what I want to do about his meds. If I want to stop or continue. Of course I wanted to continue. Everyone kept telling me that he was coming close but my faith kept me from believing it. We increased his morphine so he was not awake much. He only opened his eyes a couple times. The doctor was there in the morning. I begged him to get Jalen platelets. Maybe they could help his bleeding stop. That's what I thought. We called a lot of family over. I really thought that they were coming over for nothing. The day went on and Jalen's condition worsened. His lungs must have been filling with blood and his oxygen level was falling fast. The last time that I checked it, it was at 37. It's supposed to be above 95. Everyone said their good-bye's and kissed him. I told him that it was ok to let go and we will have so much fun when we meet back up. Once again I didn't really think I was going to loose him.

We were having a really bad storm and thought that we were going to loose power. As we all sat in the room with Jalen, I realized that he didn't have his little bear. He has had this bear since he was little and has always loved it. Of course it sings. Well, my mother had been looking for it and was unable to find it. I jumped out of the bed and started tearing up the garage. Everyone followed to help. At First I had no idea what box it was in. We opened every one of them and as we got to the last box, there it was. I ran back into the room and sat next to my baby. I held his hand as I pushed the button. As soon as the bear sang the last word, Jalen stopped breathing. I shook his arm (usually if you move him he starts again). He started back for about 1 second and then stopped again. I just kept calling his name and hoping to see his chest start moving. The doctor listened and said that he was gone and that his heart stopped beating. I was calling to God and asking him why my precious baby had to be taken from me. I ran into the bathroom and got so sick. I fell on the floor in there and prayed and asked God to take care of him. I went back to his side and held his hand and kissed him and told him how much I love him and I will miss him. As I looked up, I noticed that the storm was gone.

Everyone kissed him one final time. The next step was cleaning him and getting him dressed. I gave him his last bath. As I washed every part, I quickly put the towel on him so that he wouldn't get cold. I put his favorite lavender lotion on him that we always put on together after baths. He used to rub it in himself. My father put the shirt on him that he bought on vacation. It was really hard to get him dressed. I was afraid of bending his arms and legs because I know how much they were hurting him before. The nurse had to take the tube out of his nose and the line out of his chest. I held his hand the whole time. Then Dale and I got to hold him in our arms. It was just like he was sleeping. So peaceful and beautiful. The people came to take him after about an hour. I had such a problem letting him go. We all did. I handed him over and just cried. My baby was no longer here on earth with me. What am I supposed to do now.

Jalen is my life. He's the reason that I woke up every morning. He's the reason that I breathe. He was my best friend and he always will be. The connection that we had was so strong. Even from the day that he was born. There was just something about the way that those beautiful eyes looked at me. I am so grateful that God made me the mother of that perfect angel.

Jalen, I want you to know that mommy loves you so much. I can imagine that you look so handsome in with those new little wings. You truely were an angel in disguise I will never forget the moments that we shared. I will never forget the way you said mama and the way you would lean forward to give me kisses. I will miss those kisses so much. I know that when my time comes, you will be running to me with open arms and I will get all of the kisses that I missed out on. You are now pain free and able to play with all of the other kids. I know that you are dancing away and showing everyone how to shake their butt-butts. I hope that you get all of the french fries, chicken nuggets, pickles and coco's (cookies) that you want. Please have fun and don't worry about me. I will eventually be ok. Please visit me in a dream or send me little signs to let me know that you are ok. I will be constantly talking to you. I know you will be looking down on me just as I will be looking up. I'll love you forever. Your mommy.

God, please take extra special care of my dear baby. He is so loving and he needs extra hugs and kisses. I thank you God for taking Jalen so peacefully. I really couldn't have asked for a better place and time. He was surrounded by so much love.

Thank you everyone for being there for us through everything that has happened. I have met some of the most wonderful people in the world. Jalen was able to pull so many people together and show everyone how to really love. He had such an impact on everyone that he met. Thank you all for joining me in the most wonderful journey that I will ever have. We love you.

Jalen's mommy forever

Sunday, June 1, 2003 5:01 PM CDT

Thanks to everyone that attended the car wash. It was such a success and it went so well.

Yesterday was the car wash. It went very well. So many people pitched in. Im so sunburned and in a lot of pain. It was well worth it though. Anything for Jalen. Too bad that the morning didn't go as well. Our day nurse didn't show when she was supposed to. Then we had people off and on until 2:30 PM. The lady in charge of the nurses was lying to me every time I called her. First she told me that they scheduled our regular day nurse. Well, she is out of town and when I mentioned that, she said that she never went. Well, another hour went by and I called again. She said another nurse was on her way and that she would be there by 10:30. Come to find out, that nurse never got the message until 2. So the lady was lying the whole time. I expressed my anger towards her, in a nice way, and she apologized. Whatever. It was a mess that never should have happened.

Jalen is breathing very hard today. His oxygen level is low and he is receiving oxygen through a nasal canula. I hope and pray that he can breathe normal again. He needs a break. He needs to get better. Please pray for Jalen. I am very scared right now. Very.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003 2:41 PM CDT

~Car Wash this Saturday.. E-mail me for more info.~

Ok. The prayers for the line worked. We spent a little over 3 hours in the hospital. The line is working perfect. The doctor saw where it was, pushed the medicine through and it started working with no problem. It wasn't the doctor though. That was clearly the work of God. I was almost sure that the line was out of place. That night I prayed for it to work and I put Jalen's holy water on it. And now it is good. Finally something went right.

Now today was horrible. Jalen spiked a fever of 103.7. Also we have positive blood cultures. They aren't finished growing the cultures so we don't know what's all growing. Also the nurse and I couldn't get his antibiotics machine to work, so it was 3 hours late. I have had a hard time with Hospice and communication for the last 3 days but I think it is all cleared up. We are working with some wonderful people. I just think stories get changed from one person to another.

Jalen isn't feeling to well. I got so scared last night because of the way that he was breathing. His gums are completely swollen so it is hard for him to breathe through his mouth, but it is also hard for him to breath through his nose because of the feeding tube. Poor baby goes through so much. He doesn't stay awake for to long. But when he does, he dances and plays. Even with high fevers he still dances. Jalen is so special and I have been starting to realize how many things he has done in such a short time to change the lives of all of the people who have come in contact with him. I consider myself the luckiest mommy in the world!


Tuesday, May 27, 2003 0:34 AM CDT

~*Car Wash for Jalen this weekend--e-mail me for more info.*~

Got some bad news. Jalen has been spiking pretty high fevers. We can't get cultures and Jalen can't get antibiotics because now his line doesn't work. It's one thing after another. We found out that it didn't work because Tracy (nurse from ST. Mary's) came by to change the dressing on Jalen's site and the line had started coming out of his skin. Some of the stitches that were holding it down had popped. Well, the line ended up going back in but it must not be in the right place. There was no blood return and they were unable to flush it. Without a line Jalen can't receive platelets, blood, or antibiotics. X-rays will be taken here tomorrow morning.
Why is all of this happening to us? Can't anything go right? All I want is for my baby to be healthy. I want to be his mother and I want to take care of him forever. I am breaking down inside. It's so hard to keep staying strong.

Please pray that there is something that they can do about his line. Jalen needs to get better...not worse.

Sunday, May 25, 2003 8:58 PM CDT

We finally saw ducks. There is a momma duck and a 15 babies. He just watches them and points. I know he likes them.

It has been so rainy here so we haven't had much time outside. Jalen isn't liking that very much. He want's out at all times. He is very restless. I can't blame him though. He finally drank out of a bottle today. He's doing pretty good. He had to get platelets today. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Everything is going pretty good. The nurses are great.

Dale and I went to church this morning and it felt so good. We are also reading the bible and another book every night. I feel so much comfort through God right now and have so much faith that God can heal Jalen.

Thursday, May 22, 2003 9:36 PM CDT

~*New Pics Added*~

We are home and it is great. A lot of tears were shed as we left the oncology floor. Everyone will be missed very much. That floor has the absolute best nurses in the world! We will definitely visit when Jalen gets better (I know he will).

The nurses that we have from Hospice are very good with Jalen. We have met some very nice people that are helping us very much. We have the house set up just like the hospital. It's kinda fun. I love taking care of Jalen and I have learned exactly how to.

Jalen went to church last night to be prayed over. He watched the people sing on stage and started dancing. All he does is dance. I love it. When he has his pain meds he is the happiest baby. We haven't seen ducks yet. It rained all day. We put Jalen in his wagon and brought him around the house in it. Whatever makes him happy. Hopefully we will have some sun tomorrow.

Thanks Katia for the ladybug. Jalen loves it!!!!

Prayer request---Please pray that the bumps go down and the leukemia goes away!

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 0:12 AM CDT

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I
will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on
God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all
times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our

Psalm 62:5-8

Our meeting with Hospice went well. I told them everything that I wanted and needed and they agreed to provide it all. We will be starting with 24 hour care. If I feel that I can handle more on my own then the nurses will come less often. I learned how to give all of his meds today through his feeding tube. I think I got it under control. Now I am so excited to start having fun. We will leave here Wednesday morning and will attend church that night. Next step is Dreher Park Zoo. If he can handle the heat and I can handle the meds, then we will be off too Miami Seaquarium. We are getting a wagon from Little Smiles (videos for kids) and Jalen will go for walks all day. I plan on having a picnic on our back patio so that we can watch ducks in our lake. If there are no ducks there, we will go to a different lake. We will be on a duck hunt. Jalen loves ducks. I want to enjoy EVERY minute. I still have faith that my baby will be ok. I know that he can overcome this. He is so strong. I quizzed him today to see how much he still knows. He knew everything that I asked him. I couldn't believe that he still knows all of his body parts. He amazes me every day. Jalen is my inspiration. He is the bravest and strongest baby that I know and he has taught me so much.

Jalen still has the big bump on his head. Please pray that goes away. Jalen needs to be healed so that he can meet all of the wonderful people that love and care for him.

Cute Moment: Jalen picked up my cell phone tonight and held an interesting conversation with my mother. Good thing I have a small cell phone. It fits in his hand perfect.

Please pray for my dear friend Tracy. Katia's link is at the bottom of the page. Their family really needs prayers right now.

Friday, May 16, 2003 10:27 PM CDT

We will be going home soon. Probably Tuesday. I am extremely scared. We will have Hospice come out to the house. I never imagined this. We have no idea how long that Jalen will be with us. My sweet baby. I can't believe that there is nothing left that they can do. Nothing. How is this happening? He seems to be improving. He dances and is starting to talk again. I still haven't heard mama though. He's not eating or drinking but he loves ice chips. Today he slobbered on a cookie. Everyone that visits ends up taking Jalen for walks down the hall in a wagon. He loves that wagon.

Jalen still has the bumps on his head and arm. We know that the bones in his left arm are filled with leukemia. The bump on his head is getting bigger but we can't really check that. He would have to be put asleep for a cat scan and we aren't going to chance that.

I know that anything can happen and Jalen's life is in God's hands. He could get better and shock everyone. I pray that he does. I don't know how to even talk about this without crying. Im am such a wreck.

Prayer request:
Please pray that Jalen can fight this and that the bumps go away.

I HATE CANCER!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 11, 2003 6:54 PM CDT

*****Happy Mothers Day*****

Sorry it's been so long. I've been pretty busy holding Jalen and playing with him. I even got some "mommy time" yesterday to go out. That was really nice. I worried like crazy though.

Well, we are now back down stairs. Got here this afternoon. So far everything is ok. They got the blood pressure somewhat under control. He is on oral meds for that. His face is so swollen. Especially his eyes. He doesn't look like himself at all. His head also has a few bumps in it that we are unsure of. And we just found another bump on his wrist. Hopefully he will be able to have another cat-scan this week. Also a bone marrow aspiration to check the cancer %.

Jalen cries a lot! He cries whenever he is awake. He is still on morphine and now on valium too. He is so unhappy. I try my hardest to make him smile but it just doesn't happen.

Prayer request:
Please pray that Jalen is able to be comfortable and that the bumps found are nothing major.

I will update more after the tests or if anything happens...good or bad.
Thank you everyone for caring so much and thanks Ruthie for the carepackage (I love that book).

Sunday, May 4, 2003 10:59 PM CDT

Jalen had an even better day today. Last night was not too good. We got no sleep. They would give Jalen medicine to relax him and it would put him to sleep for about 1 hour and then he would wake up. And when he woke up, he had to hold my hand or look at me. If I wasn't in his sight, He cried. So of course I sat with my hand through the bars of his crib for most of the night. I did get some sleep today which was nice. One good thing about last night was that when he was asleep, he made this noise (I guess he was snoring) that sounded like he was saying moooom (mom). It was the best snore that I have ever heard. It was almost like singing to me. If I could have taped it, I would sleep to it every night.

Bad news first: Jalen is still vomiting. Sometimes a lot comes up and some times nothing comes up. I guess his stomach is getting used to having fluid in it. Also, Jalen's blood pressure is still high. That means that we will be in P.I.C.U for a couple more days. They keep switching the meds for it, but nothing works long enough. It will go down for a little while and then go right back up. Right now it is 110/94. Not as bad as it has been, but still high.

OK. Good News: My baby kissed me today. 3 times. I just asked him and he leaned forward to do it. Also, he is sitting up by himself. He needs a little support but he does it on his own for the most part. He points to his stuffed animals eyes and nose when asked. And he even waved bye to a couple people today. He's getting back to the lovable baby that I had a couple weeks ago.

Cute moment of the day: I gave Jalen a little bottle of water to see what he would do with it. He tried so hard and didn't give up until he got that bottle to his mouth. He didn't drink to much. Just kinda kept it in his mouth. I asked for a sip and he held it up to my mouth. Then, he had to let all of his stuffed animals have a sip. Especially Barney (his mouth is opened so it was easy for Jalen to get the bottle into his mouth). Later that night, I asked Jalen to give his daddy a sip and he held it up to him too. How cute is this baby?!?!?!

Prayer request: Please pray that Jalen's blood pressure comes down and that his tummy starts to feel better.

Saturday, May 3, 2003 0:24 AM CDT

I held Jalen yesterday! He is SO heavy. I sat in the chair with him for about an hour and a half. My arm was completely numb. He was just looking at me at first and then he fell asleep. My father was able to hold him tonight. His catheter is out and so is the IV line in his leg. He is no longer on the TPN feedings. They switched it to pedialyte that they put in a line that goes into the top part of his intestine (That sounds pretty nasty) . His blood pressure is ok right now. Still a little high but not as bad. He now has moments where he will just start gagging. Not much comes up but it scares me. Also he still seems like he is in a lot of pain. Anytime that we move him, he starts to cry. I found some sores on the back of his neck too. Poor baby has been laying here to long. He has no strength to even sit up. I feel like every time that I get excited about him feeling better, something happens and he hurts or gets sicker. When will this end?

Well, I finally slept in a regular bed today. I wasn't feeling well this morning so Dale came to sit with Jalen so that I could rest (I was so upset to leave but I felt really sick. I apologized to Jalen). I went over to Quantum house, where Dale sleeps, and was knocked out in that bed. It is a big comfy bed. I could have stayed in that bed forever, but I knew that I had to get back over here to my baby. Monday will be 8 weeks since I have slept in a "real" bed. Most people would go crazy in a hospital for 8 weeks straight. It's all well worth it.

Cute moment of the day:
I gave Jalen the thermometer (he used to take his own temperature) and said "take your tempy." He held both arm up and then tried to reach over and put the thermometer under his right arm.

Prayer request:
Please pray that Jalen's blood pressure stays down, that his belly starts to feel better, and that his pain starts getting better.

Wednesday, April 30, 2003 0:35 AM CDT

"When doubts filled my mind, Your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer." (Psalms 94:19)

Jalen is still continuing to get better. His breathing is starting to sound better. His only problem now is the blood pressure. He is on meds to keep it down still. Every time that they try to lower the dosage, it goes back up. It's really got me worried. They think that it probably played a big part in the brain bleeds. Speaking of brain bleeds...Jalen had another CT-scan done this morning and it looks pretty much the same as the other one. The bleeding has stopped. Its still there but nothing new. In fact, one spot that showed on the first one is completely gone. I stood and watched the machine as they were taking the pics of that beautiful (big) head. Now that I think about it, I would have probably fainted or something if I would have seen more blood. Thank God that I didn't.

Jalen is back to doing cute things again. He lifts his toes for us to kiss them and has started giving five more. He also loves watching his cartoons. I know that I will be able to hold him soon. I need it so bad. I know that Jalen is going to be fine.

Thanks for all of the prayers!

April 30 3:25 Pm
**Quick Update**
Jalen smiled at me this morning. Twice. I was looking at him from the side of his bed and he started rubbing my face and then my hand. I asked him to kiss his hand and he stuck his finger in my mouth and thought that it was funny. His smile was so big. I am so happy right now. Also they might remove his catheter and his iv lines in his leg and then I will be able to hold him. So far, this day is great!

Sunday, April 27, 2003 9:31 PM CDT

God Is With You

Although each day brings challenges and things that are unknown,
You needn't face them by yourself or deal with them alone.
For others care about you and will keep you close in prayer.
And, above all, God will guide you ~ for His love is always there.
--Emily Matthews.

I received this poem today from a mother who had a similar experience with her son, Mitchell

Ok. I didn't want to update earlier because I didn't want to jinx anything. Jalen has been off of the vent since about 1:30 PM. He's breathing a little fast because he is very upset. They lowered his sedation so he is more awake. In fact, he wont even close his eyes He hates being strapped to the bed and that's what's making him so mad. Plus he has the nasal canula in for extra oxygen and the tube that goes to his tummy is still in. So Jalen is one frustrated baby! He cant talk yet but he can snore, which he's already done, and he can moan. He sounds like a bear cub. My sweet baby might be getting better. There is always the possibility that they might have to put him back on the vent so im not getting my hopes too high. I'll just take it one minute at a time and enjoy hearing the little sounds that I hear right now. I can't tell you how happy we are right now. Still a little nervous, but extremely happy.

We love you all!

Sunday, April 27, 2003 2:50 AM CDT

Jalen is a little better. Not much has changed. He hasn't has another cat-scan done yet. Im not sure when they are expecting to do that. They think the bleeding has stopped though. He is on medicine for his blood pressure so that has been looking good. He opens his eyes for a little longer now and even watches some TV. All the cultures for bacteria are still coming back negative and his echo showed that his heart looks great. They are slowly weaning him off the ventilator. If he can breath on his own, he might have the tube removed by Monday. Then I will be able to hold my baby again! It's been about 12 days since I've held him. It's driving me crazy.

Please continue to Pray. I can tell that God is listening.

Thursday, April 24, 2003 8:05 PM CDT

"Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; Say to those with fearful hearts, "Be strong, do not fear; your God will come with vengeance, with divine retribution; he will come and save you." (Isaiah 35:3-4)

"When what you value most cannot be lost, then you will be free from the fear of losing what truly matters to you. Just imagine how completely liberating that would be."--Ralph Marston

Jalen is having a little bit better day. He open's his eyes and will focus on whoever is there. Our doctor thinks that the bleeding might have stopped because he is still responsive. We wont know for sure until he has another cat scan which will probably be tomorrow. It was going to be today but Jalen is having a problem with his blood pressure. It is really high. They are starting an IV med to try and control that. He also received his Mylotarg . I am so scared about that. We still don't know if the Mylotarg is the reason he's in here.  All I know is that there is still hope for my precious baby!

To everyone:
Thanks so much for the kind notes and E-mails and for the links to Jalen's page. They really help. I am very sorry if I don't respond to all of them. I have a lot on my mind (as you all know). Just know that I really appreciate it all!

TO Cindy Rivera:
Jalen opened his eyes and saw the teddy bear that you left him. He is holding it right now.


Tuesday, April 22, 2003 10:30 PM CDT

My Aunt Terri made me this and I absolutely love it!

The Lord says, "I am with you!"

The only good news that I have at the moment is that Jalen is still here with us. Yesterday morning, he started with seizers. Well, they weren't that bad. Then this morning they were lasting longer. He had 3 of them and even started bleeding in his mouth (the nurse said that he bit his tounge..his mouth is still bleeding though). Jalen had a cat-scan today. We then received our horrible news. The doctor sat us down and explained that Jalen has multiple areas of bleeding in his brain. We will be able to see the scans tomorrow. There is nothing that they can do for Jalen. Hopefully the bleeding will stop. If that's the case, then Jalen will probably have some brain damage. I don't mind to take care of him like that. I would do it without thinking twice. If the bleeding doesn't stop, he will go brain dead and they will be able to remove him from the ventilator. Even while im writing all of this, I don't feel like this is really happening. It all feels like some bad dream that im going to wake up from. It's weird but I still have hope. Does that sound crazy? I just don't know how not to be a mother. I haven't had enough time with my baby. We haven't gone to Disney since he was 6 weeks old. We need to go for walks in the park and play on all the playgrounds that we see. I need to go to McDonalds a couple times a week for chicken nugget happy meals and fight with Jalen over who gets the soda with the straw (he always gets it). I need to see that naked little butt shaking while he's standing at the side of the bath tub waiting for the water to fill up. And most of all I need to hear him say "mama" so bad. I feel empty. His daddy has so many things that he wants to do with him too. I don't know how to go out and not buy him toys or clothes or shoes. How am I going to be around people with children. My whole life was about Jalen. I didn't really go anywhere that I couldn't bring him with me. We always had so much fun wherever we went. I would even take him to the grocery store. He was fine as long as I got him a box of cheerios that he could eat while I shopped. He never gave me problems. He just sits in the back seat of the car and dances. How do I even get in the car without him in the back seat? I am sorry if this is hard to read. Im just a mess inside.

Please God, Help Jalen make it through this and keep him with me. I need him just as much as he needs me. I know that you would take such good care of him, but he needs his mama. Please allow me to be the mother that I was meant to be. I promise, God, to take the best care of him and to teach him all about you. Please God hear my prayer. Please!

Sunday, April 20, 2003 0:25 AM CDT

That First Easter

I know a man called Jesus,
Who from His grave arose,
On that first Easter morning
To vindicate our souls.

He bore the cross of Calvary
And shed His blood for you and me.
He paid a debt He didn't owe,
As through His blood forgiveness flowed.

Then, from His crucifixion,
Our eternal life was formed
And, through His resurrection,
That first precious Easter born.

Copyright © 2003 by Vickie Lambdin

Jalen is pretty much the same. His heart rate and blood pressure have been much better today. He has an ANC of 320. That's the highest that it has been in weeks. He didn't receive the Mylotarg yesterday. They wanted to wait until he was a little more stable. I think that he will be receiving it tomorrow. I hope so anyway. Im sure that we will get a lot of visitors on Easter. Everyone is welcomed to come. The more the better. Jalen will love hearing everyone's voice. Who knows, he might open his eyes.

I hope everyone has a great Easter!

Thursday, April 17, 2003 9:43 PM CDT

Angels on Earth

Once upon a time there was a child ready to be born. So one day he asked God: "They tell me that you are sending me to Earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there, being so small and helpless"? And God answered, "I chose an angel for you. She will be waiting for you and will take care of you."

"But here, in Heaven, all I ever do is sing and smile and laugh. That's enough for me to be happy."

"Your angel will sing for you and will smile for you every day. And you will feel your angel's love and be happy."

"And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language that men speak?"

"Your angel will speak to you using the sweetest, most beautiful words you will ever hear; and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak."

"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to You?"
"Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray."
"I've heard that on Earth there are bad men. Who will protect me?"
"Your angel will defend you, even if it means risking her life."
"But I will be sad because I will not see you anymore."
" Your angel will talk to you about Me, and will teach you the way for you to come back to Me, though I will always be beside you."
At that moment there was much peace in Heaven. Voices from Earth could already be heard, and the child softly asked, "God, if I am about to leave now, would you please tell me my angel's name?"
"You will call your angel, Mommy."

~ Author Unknown

Jalen is doing a little better today. His swelling has gone down quite a bit. All of his blood tests are coming back negative. So far we don't know if there is an infection. Jalen was retaining a lot of water which was making him swell. That was also putting stress on his heart and lungs. He has been given meds to make him pee so a lot of that fluid is now gone. I hope and Pray that that's the only thing wrong with him. His echo today showed that his heart is getting back to regular size. They have also taken him off of the paralyzing medicine. He is still sedated with pain meds, but he is aware of what's going on around him. He holds my hand and moves his toes. We were telling him to open his eyes and he would start blinking them. They haven't opened completely. He had a slight ANC yesterday but today it was 0. His white blood cells are continuing to grow so hopefully he will get an ANC soon. They placed another temporary line in his left thigh tonight, and an IV in the side of his head this morning, for more meds. He has about 9 different IV lines running. He is supposed to get his last dose of Mylotarg tomorrow. I hope they decide to give it too him. It is our last chance to get rid of this nasty leukemia.

Thank you so much for keeping up with my baby. Over 30 people have signed in the last 2 days. It helps me so much and keeps me strong. We have received cards and gifts that Jalen absolutely loves. He carefully looks at every card sent to him. When he wakes up he will have more too. There are so many wonderful people that I have met since Jalen got sick. Everything that Jalen is going through upsets me so much, but I am so thankful that God put such wonderful people in my life to help me through this. And most of all, I am thankful that God made me the mother of the most perfect and loving child. I thank Him daily for that.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003 0:58 AM CDT

Mother's Heart

I loved you from the very start,
You stole my breath, embraced my heart.
Our life together has just begun,
You're part of me my little one.

As mother with child, each day I grew,
My mind was filled with thoughts of you.

I'd daydream of the things we'd share,
Like late-night bottles and teddy bears.
Like first steps and skinned knees,
Like bedtime stories and ABC's.

I thought of things you'd want to know,
Like how birds fly and flowers grow.
I thought of lessons I'd need to share,
Like standing tall and playing fair.

When I first saw your precious face,
I prayed your life be touched with grace.
I thanked the angels from above,
And promised you unending love.

Each night I lay you down to sleep,
I gently kiss your head and cheek.
I count your little fingers and toes,
I memorize your eyes and nose.

I linger at your nursery door,
Awed each day I love you more.
Through misty eyes, I dim the light,
I whisper "I Love You" every night.

I loved you from the very start,
You stole my breath, embraced my heart.
As mother and child our journey's begun,
My heart's yours forever little one.

Author: Teri Harrison

Where do I start...Jalen's breathing didn't get any better this morning. In fact it was getting worse. He was getting so tired from breathing so hard. So they finally intubated him. Now my poor baby doesn't have to struggle to breathe. The machine does it for him. When they suction his tube, they have to pull the pump part out and Jalen doesn't breathe at all by himself. That was the scariest thing that I have ever seen. He also has a line coming out of his nose that is suctioning out everything in his tummy. His face is completely swollen. He doesn't look like Jalen. His heart rate and blood pressure is still a little high, but not to bad.
The x-rays that he had done today show something on his lungs. Maybe fluid, maybe leukemia. Also his echocardiogram showed that his heart is bigger then it should be. He has fluid in there. They put in a catheter and he has started letting a lot of the fluid go. He is on constant medicine to keep him still. Actually it pretty much paralyzes him. It's so scary. My mind is racing. I've had 1 hour of sleep and that was from 3am to 4am. I can't relax. I feel like im going to miss something. At least tonight they gave me a pull out chair. Im sleeping in his room all night. I sent Dale back to our other room. Only one parent can stay overnight and that will be me. When is my baby going to get better? I believe in miracles and I have complete faith in God. Im just so scared. Im really not ready to loose my son. I know that no parent is. But I really can't. I understand that there is a bond between all parents and their children but mine stronger then anything! Jalen is EVERYTHING to me. I don't know how or what I should be feeling right now. Am I preparing to loose my baby or is everything going to be ok? Will I ever hear "mama" again? He is fighting so hard and I want to help him. I know that being here is help but I feel that I need to do something. I need to take away all his pains. God Please Help!!

I sing to Jalen often and I tell him when and where I am going. And as soon as I get back, I let him know. I rubbed lotion all over him tonight. I hope that made him feel a little better. I washed his favorite blanket so that it was nice and clean for him here. It is such a weird feeling knowing that he isn't going to wake up any minute and say "up." I have no idea when I will hear that sweet little voice again. How is a parent supposed to deal with this? Please let me know. I am taking it one hour at a time and I am holding him to the promise that he made me...never to leave me. He gave me a high five on it. I love Jalen so so so so so much.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003 6:28 AM CDT

Jeremiah 17:4
Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.

Jeremiah 30:17
for I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord;

Psalms 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

We are now in P.I.C.U. (pediatric intensive care unit).

The surgery went well. Jalen's port was removed with no problems and the temporary line was placed on his left side. It lasted about 1 hour. My mother and I stood watching through the windows to the O.R. until we saw the doctor walk out. Then he was in recovery for about 1 1/2 hours. We stood outside of that door until they finally let me in (our legs were hurting!). My mother had to wait outside though. Jalen was breathing pretty hard and loud. Also his oxygen level was falling. Over the last couple days, his heart rate has been up and so has his breathing, but nothing like this. Respirations should be between 20 to 40. He was in the 70's and 80's. Of course that calmed down a little when we got here but his oxygen level was still low. It was falling down around 90 and it should be higher than 95. So now my beautiful baby has a nasal canula taped to his nose. His breathing still sounds horrible. I was able to get about 1 hour of sleep. Dale and I are rotating. I was first to go down to the room. Well, I was to worried about Jalen to even close my eyes. I fell asleep around 3 and had to be back up here by 4. I can't sleep without Jalen pushing me into the side of the bed or laying on me. I used to complain about not being comfortable in the beds here, but I wouldn't change a thing. I'll be uncomfortable every night if it means my baby is next to me. I'll take back pains every morning and waking up 10 million times a night if it means he is here with me. He looks like he is in so much pain and I want so badly to take it away from him. All ive been doing is praying over him. I know God will help his breathing to go back to normal. It's just a matter of time.

OH...Even with all these problems he is still finding ways to act cute. Last night, while on morphine and with the tube in his nose, he was dancing. He has a bus that plays music, so he kept pushing the button and moving back and forth really fast. It was a bit of a drugged dance but it was still cute. My mother and I didn't know whether to cry or laugh. He is too much!

Thanks so much to my wonderful mother, father & Darlene for all the help last night. My family is truly great! And thanks to everyone for checking in on him.

Sunday, April 13, 2003 10:59 PM CDT

"The Lord gives strength to His people. The Lord blesses His people with peace." (Psalm 29:11)

Well, Jalen has been spiking very high fevers. Last night he reached 105.5. He has also been throwing up. I was told that throwing up is a side effect from the Protocel though. The doctors think that there is bacteria on the tip of his port (the IV line in his chest) that is causing the infection. Jalen will have surgery tomorrow to take the port out. He will have a temporary line, probably placed in the vessel in his neck, until the fevers go away. Then he will get another port. Im not upset about the port being changed. The one that he has now is in sideways and is very hard to access. I am worried about the line going into his neck. It is going to bother him and he doesn't need any extra pain. I understand that they have to do this though. I pray that the port is the cause of the fevers and they stop when it is removed. I pray that they get all of the bacteria that's causing the infection out and nothing is left behind. I hope they will place the line on the left side so that we can still cuddle (I sleep on his right). Please pray that all goes well.

Thank you everyone for the cards and the gifts. We love them. And Jalen loves the pictures that are sent to him (Katia & Matthew). He loves looking at other children.

Wednesday, April 9, 2003 11:26 PM CDT

"Be strong in the Lord and in His power" (Ephesians 6:10)

Jalen's pain has been under control the last two days. He is sitting up and playing and he even ate a little today. It's so nice to see him like this. Hopefully every day will get better.

Today is Jalen's 16 month B-Day. My father brought cheesecake. He ate a tiny bit of it. Mommy & Daddy wanted that more then he did. He received more balloons today. He now has 21 balloons in his room. 5 of them are the really big ones. Most are around our bed. I keep waking up in the middle of the night thinking someone is standing over me but it's just the big Barney balloon :).

I want to thank Michela from Videos for kids for the bag of toys. Jalen loved going through it and playing with all of the toys.

Sunday, April 6, 2003 9:25 PM CDT

"If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31)

Today was so nice. Barney came to visit Jalen. Poor baby was in so much pain so we gave him pain meds right before Barney got here. Jalen was a little scared. I would love to know what was going on in his head. So many people in my family came to take pictures. Plus there were a couple kids up here that sat to watch him, so the whole end of the hallway was full. Barney gave Jalen a coloring book and crayons that Jalen had to open immediately. He even let Barney color with him for a moment. The closest he got was to give Barney five. Barney had a friend with him that did face painting for the other kids. Cake was served after. Jalen didn't eat any, but he had to hold the fork and poke at it. We really enjoyed everything.

Today was made possible by a wonderful man named Scott. He works with an organization called Videos For Kids. They also lent us this laptop. The things they do for these children are so wonderful. They constantly give gifts to them. One little girl received a bike yesterday. She was saving up for a new one and they went ahead and got it for her. If anyone is looking for an organization to donate to, this is the one. All money is put right back into making these children smile. If anyone would like the phone #, feel free to e-mail me.

Other then all that, Jalen is still in pain. He was put on a morphine pump just a little while ago. Now we can push the button whenever he needs it. Im hoping that this pain goes away soon so that we can start going places and having more fun. I can't wait for all of that. I love taking him to new places. It always makes me cry though. Even today I almost started crying. I just love to see him happy and I will do anything to make that happen.

New pics will be added soon.

Thursday, April 3, 2003 5:42 PM CST

"Worry ends when faith in God begins"-Unknown

*UPDATE* 4-4-03
Jalen started the mylotarg today. Also Barney will be here Sunday at 3:30. Feel free to visit.

Hi everyone.
Jalen is still in a lot of pain. The bone scan showed that the leukemia has now moved into some of his bones. His arms still hurt and his eyes are now swollen. I guess there is quite a bit in his face. We received one of the results from the bone marrow aspiration and that showed that the leukemia was down to 15%. That is great! Now the only problem is trying to get it out of his bones. If it gets out of them, we can go for transplant. I decided not to take Jalen out of state for the clinical trial. His % has gone down enough for the mylotarg to possibly work. We will probably start that tomorrow. There is no guarantee for either one. He is just in so much pain that I didn't want to move him too much. I want what is best for him and where he will be most comfortable. I have been fighting with myself for the last couple days, wondering what to do. We just don't know how much time we have left because this leukemia is moving so fast. He had all of his family here yesterday and was so happy. I want every day to be like that. Every day has to be the best.

Speaking of good days, we might have a visit from Barney coming up. We were going to do it for his 16 month B-Day, on the 9th, but we might do it this weekend instead. Nobody is sure of how he will be feeling once the mylotarg kicks in, so we are going to do it while he is feeling somewhat good. We will still be having a party for him though. My mother and I want this room to be filled with balloons.

Please continue praying for my little Jalen. Things are starting to look good so I know the prayers are working. Thanks everyone!

Monday, March 31, 2003 1:50 PM CST




This Poem was written by a young lady who went to St.Mary's. She has finished her chemo and is leading a happy and healthy life. She will also be starting school again soon. Good luck Vivianna!

Well, Jalen has been in quite a bit of pain. His left arm is still hurting him. He is receiving morphine for that. It works wonders on him. He had a fever last night also. All of this and he is still eating like crazy. Last night we had to order a second meal up for his dinner. He loves food! I can't imagine what he would be like if he were on steroids. My grandparents brought him a chicken nugget happy meal today so he was happy about that.

Dr.Gowda just let me know that they are contacting a doctor from
MD Anderson Cancer Center to see what she says about Jalen's treatment. He also mentioned that if they have an open study that Jalen might benefit from, we might go there. That's Texas. My Mom is going to freak when I tell her that. Like I always say though, I'll go wherever I need to get my baby healthy.

We will also be starting Protocel as soon as I gather up some $$$ for that. The little info that I have on it shows it to be a little pricey. We might be able to get some of it covered by a foundation. Not sure though. Gotta do some more research.

Saturday, March 29, 2003 4:16 PM CST

"The Lord will keep you from all harm- He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forever more."(Psalm 121:7-8)

We are back at St.Mary's. I feel so comfortable here. Jalen is taking a little while to warm back up to everyone. He has been around too many people in the last 2 weeks. He is happy here though and his appetite is great?

We will be starting the mylotarg probably on Tuesday. Im nervous but I'll get over it.

Well, I finally got my tattoo. Now my shoulder says Jalen in cursive. Dale got one on his lower arm too. I have been showing it off to everyone. I've wanted one for a long time. When we got the bad news, I didn't hesitate.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003 6:34 PM CST

Ok. Where do I start. The aspiration went well, but the news after that didn't. Jalen's leukemia has gotten worse. It has jumped from 30% to 70%. And of course no one knows why. I mentioned to the doctor today that I think it is because of the ara-c (chemo). Every time Jalen gets that, the leukemia goes up. Never this high though, but then again he has never has this strong of a dose of it. It never really hit me until today. Please let me know if anyone knows of this happening to anyone else. I am convinced that the ara-c is what is doing that. Not sure why yet, but I will figure it out. We have a few more options that the doctors will be talking to us about. We can try more chemo, that might end up hurting him more, or we can pretty much give up and enjoy the time we have. Anyone who knows me knows that there is no way that I am giving up. For them to even suggest that is rediculous. As long as my son has fight in him, so do I. He will beat this. He will be better. He will be here by my side FOREVER.
I will do everything I can do. Jalen King is not going anywhere!

There was a couple good things today. First of all, Thanks Ruthie for the carepackage. We loved it. We already opened and tried all of the bubbles. And Jalen loved seeing those lollipops. I enjoyed the cookies more that he did though. Oh and he had to try all of the little toys. It was really cute. Also, before the aspiration, the doctors let me walk back to the operating room with him. I had to put on scrubs and the whole 9. It was so much better that I walked away from him while he was asleep and not with him screaming mama. I still cried but not as much. He even kissed me right before he fell asleep. I love him so much.

Jalen's new favorite drink is pink lemonade from Wendys. He has to have it in his own cup with his own straw. He thinks he's big.

I will be sure to update more if I find anything out. Please pray for my baby.

We will be home Friday. We are going to start a chemo called Milotarg. The doctors said that we can do that at St. Mary's. I did make sure that everyone here knows that we will be back for transplant soon.

Monday, March 24, 2003 4:56 PM CST

"Do not be terrified; Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:9).

Hey everyone. First of all, Dale and I love reading all of the letters that we get. Thank you all so much. It helps to know that people are behind us.

Jalen is doing so much better today. The last few days he has had a lot of pain in his legs and has been on morphine. Well, he didn't need any yesterday or today. Yeah!! He hasn't had a fever yet today either. His counts are at 0 and we are ready for the bone marrow aspiration and spinal tomorrrow. Please pray that they dont see anything in there. I'll update more when I find out.


Wednesday, March 19, 2003 8:41 PM CST

"Do not be terrified; Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:9).

Hi everyone. We have a computer here that we can use. I was so happy to see that. The people that I have come in contact with so far are pretty nice. Everyone is great about hand washing too (it's not like they could forget...I have a sign on the outside of the door).

Jalen is doing pretty good. He finished chemo today. So far the side effects aren't bad. He has just been laying around. Some playing but mostly sleeping. He is eating pretty good too. Thank God there is a Chick-Fil-A and a Wendy's and pizza. We have all of the music stations on our t.v here so he dances all day.

Thanks to everyone for checking on us and sending mail. We get so many a day. I love it!

Monday, March 17, 2003 7:54 PM CST

Am-Maw here...

Just wanted everyone to know that Jeanette and Jalen are settled in at Shands and all is going well. Jalen will be starting his chemo tonight.

There is a website where you can send notes to them. The address is: I'm sure Jeanette would love getting some messages. You're all very special to her.

Thanks for the prayers!

Saturday, March 15, 2003 11:27 PM CST

"Everything is possible to one who has faith." -Mark 9:23

We got home yesterday and we are off again tomorrow. Not much time to prepare. I am not really worried right now. That will probably change the second that I walk through the hospital door. I am completely sure that Jalen will be fine. I feel it. His next bone marrow aspiration will be good news. I know it.

I will be having strict rules for my son at this hospital. There will be many signs on my door. I don't want any regular nurses in my room and no one dealing with sick children. If for any reason someone else needs to come in, there will be masks waiting for them. This is no joke to me. I am not there to make friends and if I make someone mad, then oh well. Anyone who knows me knows that I keep my cool even in stressful situations. All that I want these nurses to know is that I have complete control over my son and his room.

My crazy son did something cute again. Yesterday, while sitting in the play room at St.Mary's, the nurse brought me diaper rash cream. Well, Jalen started rubbing the tube under his arm (he watches me put on deodorant). I whispered to him that it was for his wee-wee. Well he repeated me really loud in front of all the kids. He said "Wee-Wee." I couldn't do anything but laugh. So now I can add that to his list of words.

Please pray that this chemo works for Jalen and that we have a safe trip up. Thanks to everyone for all the support. I luv you all!

Thursday, March 13, 2003 8:17 PM CST

"To look around is to be distressed; to look within is to be depressed; to look up is to be blessed."

We are still at St. Mary's. Jalen received 4 doses of ARA-C that dripped over 3 hour periods, a shot of asperagenes(new chemo), antibiotics and Tylenol for fevers from the chemo, morphine for arm pain from the chemo, Benedryll for a rash from the chemo, zofran to prevent nausea, eye drops to prevent pink eye, his normal doses of diflucan and bactrum, and probably other meds as well. Hopefully with all of these side effects, the chemo is doing something. He has had such bad pain in his arm for the last 3 days. The doctor thinks maybe the chemo is fighting the cancer in that arm (that was the arm that started with the lesions).He was just laying in the bed all day yesterday. Thank God today was better. He was up and playing. He vomited a little and had a couple loose stools though. Who wouldn't with all of that stuff.
Jalen always manages to do something cute no matter how sick he is. Today he held the end of the stethoscope for Dr. Gowda. He is so smart. I love spending all of this time with him. I just wish that we were in a different situation.
Monday morning we will be going to Shands for this chemo all over again. I pray that he does better with it. .

Saturday, March 8, 2003 9:18 PM CST

I thought this was cute...

How God is like:

He works miracles.

He's got a better idea.

He's the real thing.

He cares enough to send His very best.

He gets the stains out that others leave behind.

He brings good things to life.

He has everything.

Try him, you'll like Him.

You can't see him, but you know He's there.

He's ready when you are.

You're in good hands with Him.

VO-5 Hair Spray
He holds through all kinds of weather.

Aren't you glad you have Him. Don't you wish everybody did.

Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet nor ice will keep Him from His appointed destination.

"Faith is like a bright ray of sunlight. It enables us to see God in all things as well as all things in God."
-St.Francis De Sales

We got home this morning. What a relief. Jalen was excited. He was tired of being in that motel room. I didn't let him crawl on the floor, so he spent all of his time on the bed or in the car.
Well, our trip was not very good. We received absolutely no good news. Jalen has 20 to 30% leukemia still in him. It is also in his spinal fluid now. So the plan is to get a new combo of chemo. One that he has never had before (can't remember what the name is). And then moving to transplant (he has a 5 out of 6 cord blood match). We will be getting the first dose here starting Monday and then they want us to go back to Shands the following Monday for the rest. I have a serious problem with going back for chemo. First, we would plan on being there for months. We would have to stay there until his counts go back up, which takes Jalen about 2-3 weeks. Then if the leukemia has gone down, he would go straight into transplant. So we would be there 3 months at the least. Don't get me wrong, I would travel to the ends of the earth if it would make my baby better. But I don't like the floor where he would be getting his chemo. They put the cancer children right on the regular pediatrics floor with all of the sick children. That means that Jalen would have to stay in his room for the WHOLE time. Not only that, but family won't be around. I want Jalen to enjoy every minute that he can. I want him to be surrounded with love. Being here, we would be around all of our friends and family. I need it too. I need the support. Im falling apart with all of this. The doctor in Gainesville told us that transplant will not work with this amount of cancer still in him. He gave him about a 10% chance.He also said that if we decide to treat Jalen with chemo alone, it would prolong his life a couple months. A couple months? That is not good enough for me! It is so hard being away from home and hearing bad news. So I am going to fight like crazy to get him to stay down here.
Other then that, Jalen is doing great. His new thing is saying "Whoa" when he sees something he likes (especially big trucks on the turnpike). He is also so loving. He loves giving kisses, and we all love receiving them.
I really want to thank Jalen's great uncle Garrick for helping us so much In Gainesville and for praying for him. I also want to thank my mommy for updating the page. And thanks to everyone else for checking on him and for praying for him.
Please pray for Jalen extra hard!

If anyone has further questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Thursday, March 6, 2003 5:03 AM CST

Hi everyone--this is Terry--Jeanette's mom and Jalen's "Am-Maw". Just wanted to let everyone know that Jeanette and Jalen are still in Gainesville and doing ok. Jalen has not been admitted. He had bloodwork done on Tuesday and, yesterday, he had a bone marrow aspiration, biopsy and spinal tap. We should have results tomorrow and then we'll take it from there. There is a possibility that they'll be home this weekend and then go back next Wednesday.

The doctors are very hesitant to use the high dose chemo that Dr. Gowda told us about because of the increased risk of organ damage. They are talking about Jalen receiving cord blood. We'll know more when we get the test results from yesterday's tests.

Will keep you informed and thanks for your continued prayers! You're all very special!

Sunday, March 2, 2003 10:46 PM CST

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1

Well, My day today was pretty good. My father took Jalen and I out for a little shopping (of course Jalen didn't go into the stores). I picked up some clothes for my stay at "Hotel Shands." I also had two cakes. Jalen liked that! Thanks to everyone for the presents, cards, and b-day wishes. I have such wonderful friends and family.

We will be leaving the house at 10:00 AM tomorrow morning. Jalen's father and I will be taking him. Im not sure if there is a computer available. If not, my mother will be updating whenever possible. I am very nervous about going. Im not very good with new people around him. I have had so many bad experiences with awful doctors and stupid nurses (sorry about that one..We have come across a couple that haven't known anything and I've had to tell them what to do...not at St. Mary's though). I really hope that this chemo works. I have complete faith that it will. The real hard part will be getting Jalen to stay in that bed. He hates it. Hopefully i'll be able to take him for walks or something. He is so wild.

My house is going to be so quiet without wildman screaming and throwing toys. My mother and Bruce are going to go crazy without him here. We will miss them way more though.

Please keep Jalen in your prayers. Along with all of the other wonderful children.

God, Please help my beautiful baby through this rough time. Please help him get better and help him fight this horrible cancer.

We love you all!

Thursday, February 27, 2003 10:35 PM CST

"Call to me and I will answer you with great and MIGHTY things which you do not even know yet!" Jeremiah 33:3

We will be going to Shands on Monday. There, Jalen will be getting stronger chemo. Im not sure exactly which one. My mother will be updating often. I really need to invest in a laptop. Hopefully there will be one there that I will be able to use. We might only be staying a week for the chemo and then coming home. They really need him in remission before they do anything else. I pray that he does go into remission. Other then that, Jalen's counts look all right. He has been taking a couple steps on his own. Finally! I hope to have him completely walking by this weekend :) He is also saying a lot more. He says "uh oh" a lot and today it was "all gone" with his hands out to the side. He's so cute. Please keep my beautiful baby in your prayers. He needs it.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003 9:06 PM CST

***New Pics***

"Be joyful in HOPE, patient in affliction and faithful in PRAYER." Romans 12:12

Ok. Well, I have good and bad news. Im going to make the bad news quick because I don't really want to think about it. Jalen is not in remission. He has only 1 chemo left. We might have to do it at Shands. He needs really high doses of whatever it is they are going to give him. Dr. Gowda is supposed to call me when he talks to the doctor from there. Please pray that Jalen goes into remission with this final chemo.
We went to Lion Country Safari today. We were there for 5 hours. I think I had more fun then Jalen did. We rode through twice and all of the animals were right by the car. It was so much fun. He even said "hi" and "bye" to all of them. I bought him lots of souvenirs. I cant wait until I can take him to other places. He's so well behaved. I love him so much!

Friday, February 21, 2003 10:54 PM CST


"When you ask for something you must have faith and not doubt. Anyone who doubts is like an ocean wave tossed around in a storm." James 1:5-6
Ok. Thanks everyone for the words of hope. I really needed it. I don't even know what came over me. I have now placed everything in God's hands. Everything. When I feel tears coming, I pray for God to give me strength. When I say my prayers at night, I pray for one day at a time. I am going to try my hardest to do things one day at a time. Im still very worried and could cry at any moment, but God has complete control over Jalen's life and he knows what path Jalen will be traveling. I have complete faith that everything will work out for the best.
Now about Jalen. He is car crazy. He loves his "vroom vrooms." Whether it's his toys, cars on TV or cars on the road, he goes crazy. Everyone who comes into my house is bound to step on a car somewhere. And he loves when I take him to his father's shop (he has a car shop). Like father like son. He is such a big boy and he makes me smile more and more every day.
My birthday is coming!!! March 2nd I'll be 21 (too bad I feel 41). I hope for my b-day that I can bring Jalen to the zoo. I know he will enjoy it. That is one of the things on "my list of things to do before Gainesville."
Well, I might as well try to get some sleep. He's already taking up half the bed. Please keep my beautiful baby in your prayers.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003 9:39 PM CST

Well, Im finally feeling a little better. Jalen is still sleeping with my mother just in case. He seems to be getting a little bit of a cold. That's ok as long as he doesn't get this horrible cough. He is acting perfectly fine though. If he feels his nose starting to run, he lifts his shirt and wipes it away. What a BOY!
Im kinda having other "issues" today. I keep thinking about his transplant coming up and im so nervous. I haven't been able to sleep for the last couple days. Im so worried that something is going to go wrong. I know that I shouldn't be thinking like this. I can't help it. I've never been this scared before in my life. I look at him and just start crying. It is so unfair that this is happening to all of these beautiful children. I ask God why every night. I have tried to be the best mother and do everything right for my baby. I haven't nearly spent enough time with him and done everything that I want to, and im so scared that this will be taken away from me. I know im not alone, but I feel like I am. I don't know how to stop feeling like this or what to do to stop me from crying. I just feel like im loosing my strength and I don't like it. I NEED Jalen by my side FOREVER. I could spend the rest of my life with just the 2 of us. He's so beautiful and loving and funny and it breaks my heart to know that all of this is happening. The night before I started feeling sick, I told God that I would take all Jalen's sickness and pain if only he could be healed. When I woke up sick, I was happy (in a miserable way). I don't know. I guess I can only keep praying that he will be ok. He has to be because I know I can't live without him. Please keep him in your prayers.

Monday, February 17, 2003 11:41 AM CST

Jalen is doing great. He went to the doctors this morning and his counts are wonderful. ANC is 1178. I cant remember the last time it was that high. I was so happy to hear that. We have a bone marrow aspiration scheduled for Thursday.
I am pretty sick though. I have a bad cough, stuffy nose and upset stomach. Jalen's grandma & grandpa have been watching him. I stay in the room with the door closed taking my medicine non stop. Its hard not being able to hug and kiss him. I hear him playing in the other room and I want to go play with him so bad. I have to get better ASAP. And my poor mother isn't getting any sleep because Jalen has been sleeping in her bed. He is a very restless sleeper. He does not stay in one place. He loves to kick in his sleep and flip around. That's just how wild he is...He can't even stay still while he's sleeping. :)

Wednesday, February 12, 2003 11:04 PM CST

HOME!!!!!!!! His ANC has finally gone up a little. Not much though. Only 64. It was good enough to go home though. He will need platelets on Friday. About 2 hours after we got home, Jalen's temp started going up. It hit 100.4 So I called the doctor. He told me to keep an eye on it and see what happens. Well, I prayed and it is down right now. Im not sleeping tonight so that im able to check it every hour or so.
Jalen has learned so much in the last couple days. He knows almost all of his body parts. When I say ears, he touches them. Eyes, he closes them. Nose, he touches it. Mouth, he opens it. Teeth, he makes a funny face and shows the bottom 2. Belly, he lifts his shirt half way. Toes, he sticks his foot out. He even knows his port. He shows other kids that are hooked up to IV's, his port. He's so funny. Oh, and he really likes pickles. I don't know any 1 year old that will hold a whole pickle and eat it.
We will be going to Shands in Gainesville. PLEASE, if anyone knows of any child that has gone there for a bone marrow transplant, let me know. Or if anyone has heard things, good or bad, I want to hear it all.

Saturday, February 8, 2003 8:02 PM CST

We took Jalen into the hospital Tuesday night for a fever of 100.8. He had the fever for about 3 hours and then was fine. He recieved blood that night. His ANC is 0. We need it to be over 50 to go home. He feels and looks fine and his appetite is great. He is ready to leave though. We are making the best of it. We had a pizza party with our friend Micaela who also has AML(please say a prayer that her Bone Marrow Transplant is successfull). He ate 3 pieces of crust(stuffed crust) and 1 breadstick. He also had a good time dancing with a little girl who is 3 months older then he is. I'll be sure to get pictures of that on here.
I was so happy to see Ruthie(Seth's mom) today. Seth was promoted to angel status 10 weeks ago. His parents are so wonderful and so strong. They are an inspiration to everyone they encounter.

Saturday, February 1, 2003 12:13 AM CST

Doctor's appointment went ok. Jalen needed platelets. Everything else was ok. His ANC is 168. The last 3 days, Jalen has been having problems with his eyes. They seem very sensitive to light and he can't keep them open. He really scared me with this. Dr. Gowda said that it was a side effect from the last chemo he was on ( ara-c). Today he is a little better but this morning his eyes were bothering him. His appetite is pretty much gone. We go back on Monday morning to check his counts again.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003 at 06:44 PM (CST)

We got home yesterday morning. Jalen was so happy to see all off his toys. He immediately started playing with them. I was pretty happy to get home too. There's no place like home! He is almost walking. He loves push toys. He has one and is always walking with it.
We started neupogen shots again today. I didn't sleep well last night because all I kept thinking about was giving him those shots. I hate doing it, but I'll do anything to make him better.
We go to the doctor's on Friday. We might need platelets. they were 47 when we left the doctors.( pretty low ). Well, ill update more then.

Sunday, January 26, 2003 at 01:20 PM (CST)

We got the laptop computer today. Jalen is tolerating this chemo really well. This one has many risks of infection along with it. He's doing great though. He actually seems to be enjoying himself here. There were 2 other babies that he was playing with. We brought his walker up here, so he takes off down he hall. I struggle to keep up with him with his IV pole.
We are hoping to get more info on his transplant. So far we are going to a hospital in Jacksonville, but im fighting to go to Duke in North Carolina. Dr.Gowda will be talking to a few people and hopefully pull some strings. We still need to find a match though. Keep Your fingers crossed for us!

Saturday, January 25, 2003 at 05:56 AM (CST)

Hello everyone...from Jalen's grandmother, Terry. Well, Jeanette and Jalen are back in the hospital for round 4 of chemo. The results of Jalen's bone marrow aspiration didn't show any apparent cancer cells, but the making of healthy cells is still being suppressed. Hoping and praying that this round of chemo does the trick. They'll be home early next week and Jeanette will explain the situation better then. Thank you for all your prayers!

Monday, January 20, 2003 at 01:03 PM (CST)

My sweet baby's counts are still low. His ANC is 21. Platelets are back down to 40. He just had them last Monday. We are scheduled for a bone marrow aspiration on Thursday. Im so worried. It doesn't seem like he is ever going to get better. It is so hard to stay positive. I look at him and start crying. He is everything to me.
I know there are so many other people going through this type of thing. My heart goes out to all of you. And thank you all for the support.

Sunday, January 19, 2003 at 05:58 PM (CST)

Well, Jalen has a cold. His nose is running pretty bad. He uses his sleeve or the bottom of his shirt to wipe it. He's too funny.
We finally cut his hair. It was falling out everywhere, so my aunt shaved it. He looks so old. Of course I cried. My baby has always had hair. He was born with a full head of hair. He looks so handsome.
We go to the doctors tomorrow so I will update more.

Thursday, January 16, 2003 at 09:41 PM (CST)

Jalen needed blood today. His ANC is 18. Im really worried about him getting sick. Our doctor said that his counts should begin to rise any day now. He goes back to the doctor on Monday.
Jalen is now only holding one of my hands to walk. He's doing so good. All the nurses were amazed at his progress. And he is so smart. Im not just saying that because im his mother :). He was eating chips and held one up to me and said "bite." He always makes me laugh.
There is now an account set up at any South Florida Blood Back for Jalen.Some people are donating platelets and blood. Every little bit helps. All that is needed is his full name: Jalen King. He is O positive.
Jalen received a book in the mail today and absolutely loved it. He loves going through mail. Everything he touches Is "mine."
Thanks to everyone for the support.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003 at 10:09 AM (CST)
New Pics

Yesterday, Jalen had a doctor's appointment. His ANC is very low(19). Im not bringing him around anyone! He also received platelets. They were at 14. Everything else is ok. His hair is really starting to fall out. I can't even rub my hands through it without getting a handful. Now he can finally put his hats to use.

Friday, January 10, 2003 at 07:02 PM (CST)

Jalen had a doctors appointment this morning. His white blood cells are low but everything else is ok. He got his lollipop stuck in his hair and quite a bit came out. Our doctor talked to us about a bone marrow transplant. Jalen will get one once he's in remission. We will either go to Gainesville or Jacksonville. I will go wherever I have to, to make my baby ok.
Jalen did the cutest thing tonight. He was in his bath and I told him to wash his face. He actually picked up the washcloth and washed it. He is too cute! I love him so much. Right now Jalen is enjoying a ring ding. He is covered in chocolate.
I want to thank Tracy Solomon for helping me design this page. She is the mother of a beautiful little girl named Katia.
Katia has AML also . Please include her in your prayers.

Tuesday, January 07, 2003 at 10:57 PM (CST)

Blood test went ok today. Jalen's counts are low, but not too low. He's thrown up a little bit. Dr. Gowda said that it's from the chemo.
Well, Jalen is starting to walk again. He is maneuvering around the furniture. He's into EVERYTHING. I give it a couple weeks before we are all running after him.

January 04, 2003 at 11:29 PM EST

We got back home last night. Jalen finished his 3rd round of chemo and is doing fine. He is wild though. He knocked out his needle that was in his port the other day because he was jumping on the bed. He was ok though. He is finally standing again. My mother had to clear off the coffee table because he was reaching her candles. :)
We have an appointment on Tuesday to check blood counts.
I wish everyone luck in the year to come

December 29, 2002 at 01:47 PM EST

After Jalen's aspiration, Jalen received blood and we were sent home. On Saturday, Dr. Gowda called and told us that Jalen's leukemia blasts were at 8% and we can start round 3 on Monday. Hopefully this round will knock them out completely. So we will be at St.Mary's for 5 days.
Jalen is entered in a baby contest at You have to go to best eyes to vote for him.

December 26, 2002 at 11:22 PM EST

Jalen had a wonderful Christmas. He loved opening all of his presents. It took him a while though. He pulled piece by piece off of them and had to play with the toys before he opened another one. It was a lot of fun though.
Jalen will be going into the hospital tomorrow for a bone marrow aspiration and probably will be starting his 3rd round of chemo. He is not responding to the chemo the way that he should be. This round, he will be receiving different drugs and hopefully they will work. We just have to take it one day at a time and never lose faith. Please continue praying for my beautiful baby.

December 23, 2002 at 12:48 PM EST

Well Jalen's counts are dropping. This is supposed to happen because of the last round of chemo. Depending on how he feels, we might have to go in within the next couple of days for blood. Hopefully we will be here Christmas morning, but if we aren't, that's ok. He will have just as much fun at the hospital with all the wonderful nurses. I think he getting used to the doctor now. Today he was taking everything out of Dr.Gowda's shirt pocket. He even gave him 5 when we were leaving.:)
Well we finally met "grandma" Regina last night(Dale's godmother). She has been so caring and helpful from the day Jalen was born. She is wonderful and we love her very much.
Our next appointment is Thursday morning. Until then...

December 22, 2002 at 01:37 AM EST)

Still home! Jalen is crawling all over the place. It is so nice to see him crawling. I have waited months to see this again. God is truly on our side.
We are going for another blood test on Monday morning.
Please continue praying for us.

December 16, 2002 at 05:41 PM EST

Well, we are home again. Jalen is doing really well. He's finally trying to crawl again. Soon he will be walking all over the place. I can't wait!
Tomorrow, we have to go for a blood test and blood transfusion. That is just in and out. Hopefully we will be home for a while.

December 08, 2002 at 08:57 PM EST

We had a very small get together for Jalen's birthday today. We all enjoyed spending the day with him and he seemed very happy.

Jalen will be starting the second round of chemo tomorrow (his real birthday) and we're praying for good results!

Thanks for all the well wishes and're all very special.

December 07, 2002 at 11:12 PM EST

Jalen was admitted to St. Mary's on Friday. His fever is back and his medi-port site is swollen again. :( Due to the results of his bone marrow aspiration, Jalen will be starting round 2 of his chemotherapy tomorrow.

Thanks for your continued prayers...

December 06, 2002 at 12:47 AM EST

We got home (again) tonight. He's on antibiotics for the port infection. I just have to watch it very close. He's doing so well though. Tomorrow we will find out the results of the bone marrow aspiration he had today. If there are too many of one kind of cell (not sure which one) then he might have to start his second dose of chemo on Sat.. Hopefully he will be ok though.

December 02, 2002 at 09:58 PM EST

Well...we had to take Jalen to St. Mary's last night. He started with a fever and his medi-port site is swollen. He's on antibiotics and we're hoping that he'll be home before this weekend. Thanks for your continued prayers.

November 29, 2002 at 11:46 PM EST

WE'RE HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!
We finally made it home today. Jalen was so happy. He waved goodbye to the nurses and pointed to the door. He fell asleep as soon as the car started moving.
Jalen was so excited to see the house. Christmas lights are up and he loves them. All his toys are in the living room, so when he starts crawling again he'll have so much fun.

November 24, 2002 at 05:07 PM EST

Jalen was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML).
Today is Jalen's 3rd day of chemo and, so far, everything is going fine. The chemo is supposed to wipe out all of his blood cells and make his counts go down. It's strange, though, because the counts are going up instead of down. The doctor says that it sometimes happens, but this is the first time in a month that the counts are rising instead of falling. Part of me still doesn't believe that Jalen has Leukemia(but I'm not the doctor).
Today, Jalen is doing so good. He smiles and laughs, which he hasn't done since we got to the hospital. By looking at him, you would never think that he is sick.
The Baptism went well. Jalen told the priest "no" everytime he asked a question. He had us all laughing.
Tomorrow morning, Jalen will have surgery to put in a port (a permanent line to receive IV fluid and chemo). Then, finally, I will be able to give him a real bath. He needs it!

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