Life is full of stories. Stories people are dying to tell and stories that are never told enough. Theses stories make your heart smile and your eyes water; stories that have the power to change how you live your life.
In a perfect world children and cancer are two words that would never be mentioned in the same sentence. But too often an innocent child’s life is shortened, weakened and then surrenders a life that was never truly experienced.
In November 2005, Jay Rodger’s was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare type of cancer that is a bone tumor- he was 13 years old. Most of Jay’s life was threatened by the gauge of time doctors expected him to live. Cancer: a cureless disease that took away his hair, his ability to attend high school, to play football and to live a normal life as a kid. Most teenagers spend their life playing ball and having fun. Most of Jay’s life was spent in hospitals and beating his life expectancy odds. Cancer didn’t take Jay’s heart, spirit or his soul to fight each day with the hopes of just one more smile, one more breath, and one more day to live his life.
After a seven year battle, his body began to surrender and the gauge of his time on Earth would soon becoming to an end. Last Wednesday, he and his family prepared for hospice where Jay would spend his final days, hours and minutes in his Tennessee home. His family fought back tears, but Jay never stopped smiling and telling everyone about how his hero, Peyton Manning led the Denver Broncos to a comeback win that Monday night.
On October 13th his family set up the facebook page “Jay’s Warriors”- for the people who have supported Jay and his family during his battle with cancer for the final fight of his life. The page was updated with how Jay was doing and asked for pictures of Jay’s Warriors signs and ‘Likes’ of encouragement.
Growing up in Tennessee, Jay was a fan of UT sports and hunting. It was no surprise to see him in his camouflage Tennessee hat. Leave it to VolNation and social media to spread the word and the messages of encouragement flooded the facebook page. Former and current athletes and coaches reached out to Jay and in one week, Jay gained over 35 thousand new Jay’s Warriors.
“My favorite was from Peyton Manning. As I told him how much Jay loved to watch him play and looked up to him as a hero Peyton said “Jay is more of a hero than I will ever be.” JayStrong.” -Posted on October 17th
The University of Tennessee is built on tradition and there is more power in the Power T than can be measured.Saturday’s game against Alabama was played in honor of Jay Rodgers and players showed everyone at Neyland they were one of Jay’s Warriors.
Jay’s life was timed on Earth, but time can not touch or calculate the impact of how Jay’s life of fighting for every smile, for every breath, and for another day to live life has changed the lives of Jay’s Warriors to live JayStrong. VFL
Glen Jennings Rogers
January 21, 1992- October 21, 2012.