Sunday, March 14, 2010


Ed has POOPED!!!!! He is on a clear liquid diet, and is HUNGRY!!!!! He's baaaaaack! :-) Ed doesn't remember a lot of what happened during the last several weeks, but is definitely here now. He stood and moved to a chair today (with help) for the first time in over a month. Our prayers now are that he gain enough strength in his body to be able to come home when he is discharged, and that he not have to finish convalescing in a nursing home.

They have not yet re-scheduled his intake meeting at Fred Hutch. He has one more chemo there, before the cord blood transplant, and his body needs to be stronger before that can happen. It is possible that he could actually attend The Real Deal Heal Appeal Part Two!

Please join the mass choir rehearsals at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, April 6th at the Matt Talbot Center and at 7:00 pm on Thursday, April 8th at Greater Mt Baker with the band! And if you'd rather listen than sing, the concert will be rockin' in celebration on Saturday, April 10th at Greater Mt Baker.

The Jackson family has survived on your spiritual, emotional, physical and financial support since Ed's diagnosis last July. We have learned much about faith and the power of prayer on this journey with them. We are getting close to the end. Please come out and help support Ed & Cora and their kids one more time.

Ed has moved off the 7th floor (critical care) to the 15th floor! He has pooped again, and is now able to eat what he wants. He still hasn't got much of an appetite though, and his strength is coming back slowly. He is able to stand briefly with assistance, and is practicing sitting up and signing his name. The plan is to move him to the 9th floor (rehab and physical therapy) as soon as he is off all of his IVs. Please continue to pray for strength and mobility - that his body obey his spirit, so that he can finish convalescing at home instead of in a nursing home. Ed's mind is active, and he enjoys visitors. He doesn't remember a lot of the last month, but does remember God telling him to be patient. If you are able, and not sick, please drop by at to see him at Virginia Mason Hospital in Room 1578. Thank you! Barb

Sunday, February 21, 2010

February 12, 2010

Dear Friends of Ed and Cora,

Here’s the “Ed” Report!

Ed Jackson is a fighter! And the fight against the leukemia continues.

Yesterday was a tough one! Ed finished his last round of chemo at Virginia Mason. As, has been the case, every other chemo knocks him on his butt, and this one was no exception. He contracted severe pneumonia and has been fighting a high fever. For too long, the fever hovered at an alarming 104. Prayers saw him through until the afternoon, and the fever came down. Thank you to all of you who responded with prayers today. He'll remain at Virginia Mason until his lungs clear.

Then, the second stage of this long process begins. At the end of this month, Ed will go to Fred Hutch for an intake appointment. He begins his Fred Hutch chemo around March 13th, followed by his cord blood transplant around March 19th. He will be hospitalized for the better part of a month, and then released to go home with daily visits to the hospital. This will be a medically vulnerable time for Ed whose immune system will still be fragile. After the cord blood transplant, anyone wanting to visit Ed will need to be healthy and have had both a flu shot and H1N1 shot. He will not be able to go out in public places until late May.

If all goes well, Ed may be able to return to work in July. Spirits are still high, victory is assumed. God is a faithful healer!

But that is just half the story! Cancer is not for sissies and cancer is not cheap!

Because of your generosity last fall, the family’s bills have been paid so far. However, the March mortgage is not in the bank, and the family will need help again. Your friendship and faithfulness have so far protected them from the financial disaster that accompanies this disease.

The Jacksons need your help again for the next part of this journey. You can send money directly to the Ed Jackson Medical Fund, c/o Righteous Harvest Christian Fellowship, P.O. Box 22424, Seattle, WA 98122 or make an online donation through the website at

You have been the most generous, faithful friends! Thank you to all who have made monthly pledges and given as you can. Thank you for those who pray for Ed’s healing and Cora’s strength as she cares for him.

Another fund raiser benefit concert with mass choir and raffle is planned for 7:00pm Saturday, April 10th at Greater Mt Baker Baptist Church, located at 2425 S. Jackson St in Seattle. We need volunteers to plan and work that evening. Please let Barb know if you can help as soon as possible.

God willing, this will be the last fundraiser the Jacksons will need!

Ed is half way there. Stay with us. Continue with us on this journey to Ed’s healing. At the end, we will celebrate together!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Happy New Year! Since the Real Deal Heal Appeal in November, it has been a roller coaster ride for Ed and his family. Ed was released form the hospital on the same day as the benefit dinner auction, and he loved every minute of it. There were people from every facet of his life there, and each of you was a blessing to him.

He was able to stay home through Thanksgiving, which was a gift to the whole family. In early December, Ed went in to Virginia Mason for round six (of eight) chemo sessions. He came through it fine, but a few days later developed a staff infection and was hospitalized with a high fever, and severe weakness. He was pretty sick for about a week, but is back home in time for Christmas, and is doing fine now. He tires easily, but is as determined as ever to finish the healing process.

Ed’s doctor has requested that Fred Hutch take him without having the last two rounds of chemo, as his body has shown no sign of cancer in the last several tests. Chemo is a delicate balance between killing enough - but not too many cells in the body. Not enough and the cancer flourishes. Too much and the body looses all of its white blood cells and is vulnerable to any sneeze or cough nearby. With a weakened immune system, even a cold could kill you.

We are praying that Fred Hutch agrees that he has already had enough, and that he can begin the final phase – the cord blood transplant. After receiving the transplant, he will be in UW Hospital for three months while his body learns to make new healthy bone marrow on its own, and to keep him in an environment that will prevent common germs from attacking.

If Fred Hutch wants him to have the final two rounds first, the transplant will likely be in February sometime. But whenever it happens, he knows your prayers and generous donations are sustaining him.

For the many of you who pledged your financial support on a monthly, quarterly, or one time basis, thank you. Your gifts will get the family through January! Ed’s disability benefits have been approved, and he will receive about 2/3 of his pay check amount. God has been providing for all of the needs of the Jackson family thus far, and I have no doubt that He will continue to use wonderful people like all of you to help make up the difference while he fights the cancer war.

As we get to the end of 2009, please consider making another donation to the Ed Jackson Medical Fund either on line though Pay Pal at or to RHCF (PO Box 22424 Seattle, WA 98122). I will send out receipts for your tax deductible gifts in January.

May God richly bless you all in 2010! Barb

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November 23, 2009

To: You Know Who You Are

From: Cora L. Jackson, Ed’s Wife

Re: Thank You

Well, it has been about a week since the kickoff - auction dinner - bone marrow - sign up event. That evening, Ed had just been released from the hospital, after having received his fifth round of chemo. He was so excited that he forgot to feel tired, queasy or weak. In fact, Ed didn’t experience any negative affect from that round of chemo until yesterday, November 22nd, eight days later!

When we walked into the fellowship area at First A.M.E., it felt like we were at an anniversary or birthday party. Everywhere we looked was in a word, beautiful; everyone we saw had wonderful smiles on their faces. Everything was perfect. And the food…! Our five year old granddaughter had seconds, as in another whole plateful. The Jeremiah and Charlotte crew were exquisite, as usual. The M. C. was great, the music was ‘slammin’ and the program flowed nicely. The evening passed so quickly for us. Before we knew it, we were back in the car thanking God for all of you.

There are some large groups of people that helped to make that event so successful – RHCF, FAME Church and Choir, JudahSong, Seattle Peace Chorus, and Be the Match. If Ed and I said “Thank You” every hour for the rest of our lives, the words could never repay you for your hard work and kindness. So we keep you in our prayers and pray that God will bless you ‘real good’.

Some of you have given your time and talent freely; you procured, tagged and catalogued auction items, garnered donations, set up and manned tables, served food, bussed tables, played music, sang in the choir, gave rides, laminated words, created programs, set up websites, encouraged volunteers, created spreadsheets, spoke words of encouragement and prayed for us. You’ve blessed us with your phone calls, cards and handwritten notes. Many of you donated auction items and there were so many of you that purchased the majority of those items offered for sale. Some of you we know personally, some of you we hadn’t met until that evening and some of you we’ve still never met. You knew that we could not repay you, but you did it anyway. We are humbled by your compassion.

Many of you signed up to be bone marrow donors. Perhaps one of you will be the match that Ed needs, or maybe someone that you don’t know and will never meet will one day have healthy bone marrow and blood because of one of you. You have offered hope, a priceless commodity in our world today.

The EJM fund raising committee has borne and continues to shoulder the burden of walking beside us as we travel this stretch of road. We don’t know the names of everyone on the committee, but to all of you and to the heads, Bob and Carmen Shupe, Judith Hightower and Barbara Lynn, we thank God that you have accepted this responsibility. You have laid down your agendas to help a friend in need. Greater love hath no man than this.

I’m still writing thank you notes – it is a blessing to write so many. But there are many that I can’t thank verbally or with pen and ink because you chose to be anonymous. To the woman I met in Safeway, the people who left cash in my purse (I keep laying it down), those who have sent cashier checks with no name or return address, those who set up the auction but weren’t present at the event and to those who have read about us through email and other computer generated “stuff” that I will never understand, who have responded with funds through Pay Pal and prayers for Ed, me and our family, THANK YOU. We cannot bless you but our Father will.

One of Ed’s favorite movies is called, “It’s a wonderful life”. It’s about a man who ran into some financial trouble and starts to think it would have been better if he’d never been born. The moral of the story is “He who has friends is rich indeed”. The Edward Jackson family is “rich indeed”. Thank you and God bless you all. –Cora-

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

10/20/09 - from Cora


This is an open letter to all of Ed Jackson’s supporters.

Dear Friends:

It has taken me more than 2 ½ months to get my head wrapped around all this ‘cancer stuff’. And… to tell the truth, I don’t have much under control; in fact, all of us at the Jackson house are just ‘going with the flow’. But while we are “flowing”, Ed and I especially want all of you to know that we thank God for you, for your prayers, your words of wisdom, encouragement and comfort. These things we appreciate the most but we are also sincerely grateful for your gifts of time, talent and cash. In these things, God has not had to “work a miracle” because many of you have allowed Him to use your own resources to supply much of our need. We cannot effectively express our gratitude. We just continually thank God for you all.

Many of you have asked “How are you really?” Well, in a word, “Grateful”.

Will write more later. God’s love to you all - Cora

Monday, October 19, 2009


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
Send a check made out to "Ed Jackson Medical Fund"
Send to RHCF, P.O. Box 22424, Seattle, WA 98122

Two: Attend

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 or from a member of JudahSong or contact

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

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 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

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

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 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

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!

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Our God is an awesome God!

Ed has been at home for the last two weeks, and has not received any chemotherapy due to a blood infection. He has been receiving a continuous drip of antibiotics through a pump (which he wore in a fanny pack). He went to the hospital daily to have the pump refilled, and to get tests done. He was unable to take any additional chemo until the infection was over.

Ed went back into the hospital this morning to start another round of chemo. He will be an inpatient for four days, and receive several chemo drugs by IV and mouth over that time. After chemo, he can come home for almost a week (with daily visits to the hospital) then back into the hospital again for four more days of chemo. He will continue this cycle until he goes into remission. That means they can see no cancer cells in Ed's blood, bone marrow or spinal fluid.

But today, he and Cora received wonderful and miraculous news!!!

There are two types of transplants that Ed could receive. One is from the stem cells found in the blood of donated umbilical cords. The other is bone marrow harvested from the hip bone of a donor. In a letter received today, they learned, "We have identified several suitable cord blood units that are of suitable size and match for Ed. Efforts to try to identify a suitable unrelated donor are ongoing."

God is always right on time.

Please pray that Ed goes into remission quickly. As soon as that happens, he can get the transplant. He will then need to stay at UW Hospital for up to 3 months to ward off infection, rejection, etc, but should be good to go after that!

To help the Jacksons cover the costs associated with his medical care, Carmen Shupe is helping to organize some fundraisers. I have attached a letter from her asking for your email contacts and your help. Please let her know when she contacts you, if you are OK with being added to her list.

Thank you for your prayers. Please keep them coming. Thank you to all who have sent financial blessings and food to the family. Most of the time, they come exactly when needed. Please keep them coming. We are privileged to see faith in action, and the wonderful results of prayer. God bless you all, Barb