“I can’t even begin to explain the pain and anxiety that myself and my two daughters felt throughout Jazmyn’s 16 year-struggle with cancer. Being told your child has cancer once is devastating enough, but to hear it 7 times is crippling.” Jazmyn Dream Zeller had BMMRD, an recessive condition that made her prone to cancers. As a result, she had 7 different cancers starting at just 22 months. Her last cancer was a glioblastoma. She was 18 years old when she passed away three years ago.
Speaking to the impact of cancer on the whole family, Jazmyn’s mom, Heather, says “My youngest daughter, Jazmyn’s only sibling, really struggled after Jazmyn’s death, and my heart is eternally broken. Jazmyn’s heart was so pure. She didn’t feel sorry for herself, only worried about me.”
Heather’s advice to other families facing childhood cancer? Accept help that is offered. “I tried to do everything myself, and it wasn’t until the very end that I wished I had let more people help. Lean on those who care, because you’ll need to be emotionally and physically strong for your child. Be present as much as possible because you never know what lies ahead.”
-told by Heather Rice
Learn more about connecting with other bereaved families, and about how to advocate during Childhood Cancer Awareness month.