It has been a couple of busy weeks. Ed completed round 4 (of 8) chemo sessions, came home for two days and went back to the hospital for 11 more days fighting off another infection. He is back home now, and will have a week off from chemo to build up his strength again. He was able to preach in church on Sunday, and it was fantastic to have him there!
And in response to the growing need for support, a group has formed to do some serious fund raising and spirit lifting. Big plans are in the works!
I am posting the entire email appeal that went out to many of you. Carmen wrote it, and it updates you very well. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage, sit back, and read the following update!
God bless you all, Barb
Dear Friends of Ed and Cora Jackson,
This past summer the Jacksons received word that Ed had Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. It's a big name for a bad cancer. Because of early detection the prognosis is good but the cure is long, brutal and expensive. The usual course of treatment is aggressive chemotherapy followed by a Bone Marrow transplant. All are hopeful for Ed's health to be restored, but it is certain that medical cost and living expenses will financially devastate the household.
Countless numbers of us have been greatly blessed by Ed and Cora. Cora's music has married us, buried us and moved us through the highs and lows of our lives. Their home, their hearts have been open to us in times of great need and great celebration. Now, it is our chance to give back to them!
You can help the Jackson family in three ways:
Send a direct, tax deductible contribution to
"Ed Jackson Medical Fund"
Make an online contribution at www.righteousharvest.org
Send a check made out to "Ed Jackson Medical Fund"
Send to RHCF, P.O. Box 22424, Seattle, WA 98122
The Real Deal Heal Appeal!
"Walking with Ed on his Journey to Wellness"
Saturday, November 14th at 6:00 pm
First AME Church, 1522 14th Ave, Seattle
$25 Tickets available online at www.righteousharvest.org or from a member of JudahSong or contact email@example.com
This is a wonderful evening to come together to support the Jackson family!
Great Music, Mass Gospel Choir & terrific program
Great Christmas shopping at the Silent Auction
Register with the Be the Match! Bone Marrow Registry
Dinner by Jeremiah Beckwith
Interested in singing with the choir? More information at www.righteousharvest.org
Can't attend the event but want to be a part of it?
· Buy a ticket for someone else to attend.
· Donate something for the auction? There is information about this on the website. If you have something in mind to donate, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll arrange to pick it up.
Register with the Be the Match!Bone Marrow Registry.
Ed is adopted and needs a match for a bone marrow transplant. You can help by registering yourself and others to see if you can be a match.
You can do this at the November 14th auction or read more at www.righteousharvest.org.
Your help is greatly appreciated! Most of us are as vulnerable as the Jacksons. A similar disease in most of our families would financially devastate us. Please give generously to this family who has given so much to so many.
If you would like to give us feedback or request to be taken off this list, please go to email@example.com.
Want to know more about the Jacksons? Read on!
The Facts: Ed Jackson grew up in Seattle, where he attended Nathan Hale High School. He has a degree in Economics from the UW and played trombone in the Huskie Marching Band. He also has a Masters Degree from Seattle University in Pastoral Studies. He is married to Cora Jackson; is the stepfather to Telleanna & Dee; foster father to Kiki & Kenny and adopted Dad to JonMarc. Ed works for the City of Seattle and co-pastors the Righteous Harvest Christian Fellowship with Cora.
The Man: Ed is a big man—tall, wide inviting face and broad smile. He has big ideas and lots of them. He loves big sports and big BBQ. Faith and family are big to him. Ed is big and generous. He has opened his home and his heart to five children who he did not biologically father. He is pastor and friend and the steady Eddie that listens, learns and cares. He is the quieter half of a music ministry with Cora that has planted enduring praise and worship in our hearts.
More about the disease: Ed’s cancer was discovered in late July as a mass pressing on his spine. He had been experiencing pain in his neck and had thought it to be a pinched nerve. Physical therapy and pain medication did not help and he began to lose strength in one arm. On July 29th, he was admitted to Virginia Mason and prepped for surgery.
The diagnosis was Pre B Cell ALL (Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia), a particularly aggressive and deadly cancer. The treatment is also aggressive: successive rounds of chemotherapy until the cancer is in remission, followed by a bone marrow transplant.
Ed is presently on his 4th round of chemotherapy. He has lost his hair and about 50 lbs. Besides the cancer, Ed is healthy and highly motivated. He has done well except for some recent problems with infection that have slowed the progress. Between rounds of chemo he is able to come home with daily trips to the hospital.
Ed works hard to get well and Cora works hard to take care of Ed. Cora’s full time job is taking Ed to appointments and tending to his needs in addition to her responsibilities at their church, and music jobs as she can find them.
A bone marrow match is still needed for Ed. Most matches are found within the family. Since Ed is adopted, Ed must find his match from the general population. 90% of all matches are made within the patient’s ethnic group. This is why it is so crucial to ask people to register with the “Be a Match” Bone Marrow Registry.
There is good news, however. A newer type of treatment is now being used from donated blood from umbilical cords. They have located such a match for Ed. This type of transplant has only been used for the past two years so there is no data on long term success. Therefore, even though this is available, the search for a bone marrow match continues.
After the cancer is in remission from the chemotherapy, Ed will spend three months in the University of Washington hospital for the transplant in a sterile environment while his body learns to produce new blood cells.
The Financial Need: Ed’s medical insurance covers about 90% of the entire expense of his treatment, but that 10% is not in the budget. More significantly, Ed is the primary breadwinner for the family and he will be off work for many months. His sick leave ends the end of October and the family will need to pay the medical insurance premiums out of pocket. The family’s monthly budget is now approximately $5,000. Optimistically, Ed will not be able to work for the better part of a year and the medical staff report that this process often takes two years. The family risks losing their home and all their financial resources.
Fred Hutch advised that patients require a full time care giver throughout the treatment. Cora is finding that caring for Ed is a full time job, as well as parenting the two remaining children they have at home. Cora still fulfills her role as co-pastor and directs JudahSong and other musical events.
At Fred Hutch, the family was advised to set up a medical fund through a 501 (c) 3 organization. Since they co-pastor Righteous Harvest Christian Fellowship, (which is a non-profit organization), an account was set up to receive donations for the Jackson’s medical care. All donations are tax deductible. Donations can be made online at www.righteousharvest.org or send directly to RHCF, P.O. 22424, Seattle, WA 98122. Please make checks to “Ed Jackson Medical Fund”.
Friends and family have taken up the challenge of fundraising to help meet the rising costs. For as long as necessary, fund raisers will be planned. If you would like to help be a part of this effort, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Keeps the Jacksons Going: Faith. The Jacksons believe that God is present with them in every situation—comforting, guiding, loving and sustaining. They live lives of praise, gratitude and service. They claim many promises in the Bible—that healing is the children’s bread; that all things work together for the good for those who love the Lord; that this sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God. Ed says his job is to do what the doctors tell him to do. It is the doctor’s job to worry about the cancer. There is a peace in his hospital room that defies his current situation. Ed and Cora are providing us with a phenomenal example of how to fight an overwhelming battle with prayer and thanksgiving.
For a recent concert, Cora wrote a new song, entitled “So I’m Not Gonna Wait”. It is a statement of faith, a plan of action, a determination to win!
So I’m Not Gonna Wait
The Lord is my rock and He is my fortress
He has become my song.
The Lord is the joy and the strength of my life
Especially when things go wrong.
Trials will come, He said that they would.
The devil comes to steal and destroy
But Jesus gives me life, life abundantly.
The devil can’t take this joy,
So, I’m not gonna wait
Until the battle is over.
Cause I know I’ve got the victory.
I’m gonna shout
Shout right now!
So I’m not gonna wait
Until deliverance comes.
Cause I know my help is comin’
I’m gonna shout
Shout right now!
The race is not given to the quick or the strong.
I must endure till the end.
I’ll wait for the Lord to renew my strength.
I know I’m guaranteed to win.
The road is rough, the going is tough.
I’ve got to walk on by faith.
His word is a lamp, a lamp unto my feet
And His spirit shows me the way.
Hallelujah, glory to Jah, Hallelujah!
I’m gonna shout, shout right now!