Hope For Jamie

I want to introduce you to a friend of mine. Her name is Jamie. I have known Jamie for the past 9 years since she was a 12-year-old girl in our youth group at First Presbyterian Church of Lakeland, where I served as a youth leader. Shortly after meeting Jamie, I found out that she was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor. Since that original diagnosis, Jamie has endured brain surgery, radiation treatments, and is currently undergoing a trial therapy called Novocure/Optune.

Today Jamie is 21 years old, and a remarkable young woman. Although she has lived with cancer now for most of her life, she has been determined to live her life to the fullest. She graduated both high school and college with honors, got to study abroad in England, and last December 2016, she married the love of her life and best friend, Wade.

This past October 2017 we found out that Jamie’s tumor was growing again. Around this time, Jamie began to lose her sight in one eye. Although this affected some of her independence, such as driving, Jamie was still able to live her life normally. However, in the past few weeks just before her 21st birthday, Jamie began to lose sight in her other eye, rendering her now completely blind. As you can imagine, this is a devastating and life-changing experience for her. The entire world that she has known her whole life has now been turned upside down. Jamie is now completely dependent on her husband and her parents for daily help navigating through life.

In addition to this new loss of sight, Jamie has started experiencing severe nerve pain in her neck, which is likely related to the tumor growth. While the doctors have been able to manage it somewhat, they are still not able to prevent it completely. Jamie has just started a new treatment called the Novocure/Optune, which we are hopeful will help shrink her tumor. In the time being however, there are some very immediate needs that need to be met:

1.) Blindness Support/Services: Jamie will need to relearn how to adjust to life now without her sight. She will need services that can set up accommodations for her and a coach to help teach her how to navigate through this process so she can be somewhat independent. Currently, she has no support other than her parents and her husband who are taking shifts in staying with her so that she doesn’t get hurt being by herself. A blindness advocate would be most helpful, but such services are expensive and are not always covered by insurance.

2. Treatment Costs for Fighting Cancer: Jamie is currently undergoing Novocure/Optune therapy, which is an alternating electrical field therapy that attacks certain types of cancer. Jamie’s insurance has denied coverage for her treatment twice now. Although she has already started the treatment, the company in charge of the treatment is allowing her to receive charitable funding. Many of the other costs associated with her treatment and care are not covered though. Because of her long history of having cancer, her deductibles are extremely high. She also has to make frequent visits to the hospital, which is a minimum of $200 each visit.

3. Living Expenses: Due to Jamie’s current condition, she is unable to work, and her husband is only able to work part-time during night shifts and weekends so that he can be her full-time caregiver during the day. Her parents are able to stay with her on nights and weekends. Due to this reality, it is a large financial strain to provide enough income to pay for their bills, such as rent for their apartment, utilities, groceries, etc.  

**In order to meet these needs that will provide support for her blindness, cancer treatment, and living expenses, Jamie will need support & funding from generous donors. We are asking our friends and family members, church family, community, and any good samaritans to help partner with us in this effort. Along with Jamie’s husband Wade, and her parents Jack and Debbie, we are setting a goal of $15,000 in hopes that people will have compassion and feel the urge to respond generously.

***One hundred percent of the donations received will be given to Jamie and directed towards her care.

Thank you for taking the time to read this story and prayerfully considering how you can help.


Jenica Steele Timmes (On Behalf of Wade Weston, and Jack and Debi Shofner.)


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Organizer and beneficiary

Jenica Steele Timmes 
Lakeland, FL
Debi Shofner 
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