Join us in running the 2019 Pittsburgh Marathon in memory of Jaime Vick Moran. With each step of the race, we run in honor of the courage she showed during her 14 year on and off cancer battle.
Our non-profit was formed with the intention to not allow Jaime's legacy to die. Jaime's story of courage is one that will live on through our work with the local community, as we provide financial help to those who have just faced a cancer diagnosis, work with the Kiski Area Education Foundation & Saint Vincent College to provide scholarships, and fund projects in Jaime's memory at UPMC Children's Hospital.
For the Pittsburgh Marathon, we have teamed up with Islay's Nation. Their relay team is raising money in Jaime's honor. Any funds raised through this campaign will go directly to the Jaime Vick Moran Oncology Enhancement Fund through the Children's Hospital Foundation. The monies will be used for any adolescents and young adults, who are currenly in treatment (in or outpatient), to use during their "hall pass" time. This time is when the patients are allowed to break out of their long hospital stays, with the doctors permission. They can go to a paint class, or an escape room, or activiy set up for them to essentially escape from the hosptial and enjoy life for a short amount of time, not needing to think about what treatment will be next.
Our hope is that after reading Jaime's story, you will be inspired by her courage, and it will be the courage you carry with you when you are running the race, and afterwards the race of life. Help us continue to show the world how to be courageous, how to have strength in the time of pain or grief.
The only way for me to try to explain the courage that Jaime lived with, is to share her story with you.
The definition of courage is the ability to do something that frightens oneself.
Courage is strength in the face of pain or grief.
Jaime was courage.
The kind of courage Jaime had evolved through life experience to get through the darkest days of life.
Jaime’s stemmed from having beat leukemia twice, first diagnosed at 14, she went through three extensive rounds of chemotherapy treatments, but returned victorious to high school and the basketball court at Kiski with determination, and continued living life as a typical high school junior and senior should. Jaime was an inspiration to our family and the community, acquiring a basketball scholarship to SVC. In her sophomore year of college, she felt there was something wrong, she was losing weight and didn’t feel right, so she had the courage to pray, for God to show her a sign, the next day she couldn’t walk, and the day after that, we found out she had relapsed. A new plan of attack was in place, and courageously, Jaime began radiation and chemotherapy to kill the cancer, and everything else in her blood so that she could receive a bone marrow transplant. And though the road before and after transplant was a long and difficult one, she courageously emerged, returned to finish her degree and continue her playing career, put the cancer in the back of her mind, and left Saint Vincent College with a degree in Math Education, excited for her future. As a candidate for a teaching position at Kiski, she heard the volleyball team had a new coach, and thought assisting the team may increase her chances of getting hired.
Jaime was hired as a Math teacher at Kiski area and as the assistant volleyball coach, was engaged to be married and living the dream of a recent college graduate.
What happened next, rocked us all to our core, in May of 2010, Jaime had noticed some bruising with the preseason conditioning, and she was concerned so made an appointment with her oncologist. After a spinal tap procedure, it was confirmed, her leukemia was back. Her bravery in the face of the relapse was astounding, she was prepared to battle leukemia again, to put it behind her once and for all. This time though, she would have to wait for a unrelated donor match, and receive another bone marrow transplant.
Jaime finally received news that there was a match, she would receive a bone marrow transplant August 27th, 2010. Having been through in her words “several unpleasantries” during treatment, prior to transplant, she was anxious to receive the marrow and get the process started. Jaime was at UPMC Children's Hospital in isolation, waiting for the transplant to engraft. Continuting to be an inspiration of true courage to the community, her students and players.
2010 was finally over everyone was looking forward to a better 2011. Jaime was working hard towards recovery, this transplant and treatment plan were more intense than what she previous experienced, she wanted to bounce back, but several times she had road blocks to get past. Vowing to be back on the volleyball bench for the 2011-2012 was what was on her mind. Summer came and went, Jaime wasn’t strong enough to start teaching in the fall, recovering from a BMT was taking time, and she had some medical setbacks. But Jaime never lost hope, she always courageously fought each setback head on.
2012, is a year that Jaime’s courage was tried as hard as it had ever been. It seemed like she couldn’t catch a break, always running into medical complications, and having some really hard times. With every knockdown, Jaime fought back ten times harder, she ran into a life threatening stretch of health issues in May, but in Jaime style courageously fought back, forced herself to walk again despite having broken spinal discs, captivated doctors and nurses at Mercy and children's hospital with her determination to get better. Eventually Jaime was confined to a wheelchair or had to use a walker to get around, her body was giving in, but her spirit did not. Her courage shone through, she would make my mom take her shopping, go to lunch at their favorite restaurant, She chose to live life. July of 2012, Jaime had some swelling in her arm that was an infection that admitted her to the hospital, one medical issue after another happened, but she courageously fought them all, spending most of her time in the ICU she still managed to amaze doctors along the way. At the end of July, the doctors informed us she had a brain infection from the transplant that they could treat with medicine to prolong her life, but her prognosis was dismal. Courageously, Jaime chose the medicine, but it made her feel even sicker and because the side effects were unbearable, about week later, courageously, Jaime decided she had had enough. Several days later, Jaime passed away at Children’s Hospital on August 6th.
I only feel that it is appropriate to leave you with words written by my sister, who had the courage to participate in a cancer project, by Autumn Stankay called Facing Hope. She was beautifully photographed during cancer treatment, and asked to share her story. The book is used in cancer treatment centers, giving real life examples of people battling for their lives, diagnosed with cancer yet choosing to live with optimism and courage; unwilling to let their circumstances pull them down into a world of darkness.
She wrote this after receiving her bone marrow transplant in 2010:
As I wait, I hope. I hope with the love and support of my family and with the people that have been there for me since age 14 as I battled this disease for the first time as a child. I hope with the help of my faith in God, which without I would not be strong. I hope with the help of my friends, some old, some new, because these are the people that keep you going. I hope with the help of my community and my work place. Their actions and extending a caring hand is such a powerful thing. I hope that at the end of all of this, I am another success story and Ellen and I with our volleyball twist on the story can speak out and advocate to other women and cancer survivors that “you can do it too!” As part of the human race we can all strive to achieve perfection, but what good is perfection without having people to share it with. I believe the true meaning of life is to find comfort in the people around us and to help those people in need of help. I believe everything happens for a reason, whether this reason is good or bad, and I believe that these battles I have faced made me a better person. I believe ‘what really matters’ in our lives are the everyday things we take for granted. I believe an important question we all must ask ourselves is not only “What do we value in life?”, but also, “Do I stop and take the time to notice the little things, the things that matter?” I hope the answer to this question is “yes, I do.”