The greatest blessing about running a children’s foundation is having the opportunity to meet the most beautiful and brave little souls. Jake Matthew Staniszewski was an incredible little boy that I was lucky to have spent time with. Two year old Jake battled alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive pediatric cancer. From the moment I met Jake I fell in love with his sprit and bravery. Jake had the most vibrant personality, heart-warming smile, and the most beautiful blue eyes. In the face of sickness Jake never ceased to amaze me with his strength, laughter, and love that he shared.
Jake changed my life. He taught me how to love in an extraordinary way. He allowed me to see life in a new perspective. Jake and his family taught me the true meaning of unconditional love and to appreciate every moment we have with those we care about.
While Jake did not get his miracle, I believe knowing him was a miracle in and of itself.
When Jake passed away I promised myself I would forever do good everyday in his honor. Jake’s story would never be forgotten. I would find a way to continue spreading all the love Jake and his family shared. In an effort to share Jake’s love and bring comfort to children battling chronic illnesses I started Jake’s Jammies. Jake’s Jammies involves collecting new pajamas, pressing them with a special logo and tagging them with a special card that shows a picture of Jake and shares some words about him.
The Ashley Wade Foundation distributes these pajamas to many local hospitals in Jake’s honor. I am proud to share that in a few short months numerous schools, families, and organizations have rallied their communities to hold pajamas drives. The success has been overwhelming. This week we reached 1,000 pairs of pajamas and many more donations continue to arrive each day.
My heart is full of gratitude and happiness. I thank you all for supporting Jake, his family, and The Ashley Wade Foundation. Thank you for helping spread Jake’s love and his story. Jake touched so many lives and continues to do so everyday. Mark, Denise, and Luke thank you for sharing Jake with us. We all love you so much.