Fundraiser for Jeremy Harris

33262350_1549765137122207_r.jpegAfter a courageous and faith-filled battle with cancer, Jeremy Harris passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on the morning of January 9th, 2019.  Jeremy was 47.

The funeral service was held Monday, January 14, 2019
at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Sherwood Park Alberta.

The graveside service and interment was held
Tuesday, January 15, 2019, at Fort Steele Cemetery. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank each of you from the bottom of my heart  for ALL of the love, support, and kindness of every kind that has been extended to Jeremy, Marie, and their children during this amazingly difficult journey. It has made all the difference.  You have kept a roof over their heads, the lights on, and food on the table.  You have helped a wife care for and love her husband the way she wanted to—the way she needed to.  You have kept a mother at home with her children to help them have stability during a difficult and uncertain time. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! 

And now, at the risk of writing a novel that won’t be nearly long enough—a personal plea.  In my eyes, our work has only just begun.  Jeremy’s beautiful wife has been left a widow and his children—fatherless. Let’s work as a team to take care of Jeremy’s family and encircle them with all the love and support we can!

The previous plea of January 4th is still true; they still need time as a family.  Time to grieve, time to heal, time to remember, time to cry that UGLY cry without the added burden of figuring out where money will come from to pay for funeral expenses, and the general expenses of daily living.   Will this be a forever solution?  Absolutely not.  Employment will be sought out and found.  A new normal will develop over TIME.  But for this moment, will you give them the gift of time?  

Even if you have donated, would you consider donating again?  It may take some sacrifice on our parts but that’s ok.  Jeremy, Marie, and their children have been, and will continue to be, grateful for EVERY penny. They have sacrificed to serve others with all their hearts even when it was not easy or convenient.  I have been the recipient of such service and know that many of you have too.  Let’s  pay it forward to this humble, sweet family that we love. Do what you can and God will bless you. I know this. I have seen this. 

On October 3, 2018, Jeremy posted the following and I think it’s just as relevant now as it was then, if not more so:

“I want to take a moment and thank all of those who have contributed to our family in so many ways. I did not ask for it but my cousin LD CB Smith saw, and felt, a need to start this campaign. This comes only 6 months after losing their own infant child, Charlette, and reaping the benefits of so many Go Fund Me supporters. I was so sick at the time that I couldn't attend the service of this beautiful daughter of theirs. 

Has our family seen challenges? Hands down—far more than we feel we can bare at times! However, it is our lot in life to bare them so we do so exhausted, but willingly. When tragedy strikes you can either run away and try to hide or run towards loved ones and hold on to them so you can share your burden and have them hold you up and walk with you until you are strong enough to stand on your own again. 

So again, thank you to all who have contributed to this campaign and thank you to all who have shared the posting. Many people I don't even know have stepped forward and blessed our life already. If, at the very least, you wish to help in some small way as many of my friends have asked or said if there's anything at all we can do for you just let us know...this is it. Simply just share the campaign on your timeline for us. We so much appreciate you. Thank you and God bless, sustain and uphold each of you and your families. In solitude and gratitude. Your friend[s]Jeremy, Marie, the late Jared Harris,Alvin, Kieyra, Damian, Keenan, Danica, and Dustin Harris. Peace be unto you.”

Today the world seems a little bit greyer, a little more hopeless until we remember that God’s Army just got one of the best!  Congratulations, Jeremy, on a life well lived and a beautiful legacy left behind. Good luck in the next phase of your progression.

❤️God be with you till we meet again!

Edited to add:

January 4, 2019

There have been many updates during this campaign and many twists and turns in Jeremy’s journey. The latest update has been the most disheartening and difficult to share. 

Jeremy has been experiencing pain on his right side.  When CT scan was done it was they that Jeremy’s cancer has spread to the lungs, kidney, liver, and abdomen. ALL treatments have stopped.  Radiation will not benefit him and immunotherapy is no longer an option as his body is no longer producing bone marrow.

Jeremy and his family need your support now more than ever!  To not have to worry about finances or how they are going to pay for upcoming costs would be an amazing gift to them. Thank you so much to all of you who have done so much already our hearts a full of gratitude for each and every one of you—Thank you!

It is times think this that we wish we could do more, be more, say something—anything that would make a real difference. Honestly, what Jeremy, Marie, and their children need now is TIME. Time untainted by temporal concerns to be a family. Time to spend with each other to share the amazing love, humour, and relationships they have developed with each other.  Time to make as many beautiful memories as they can!  If you can do more on this front or know someone who can please do what you can and share this campaign like crazy!  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Text message, Messenger, WhatsApp and email are all great ways to share. 

I think sometimes we have the tendency to think I have no money so there is nothing I can do. This simply is not true. Here are some ideas that may help you get your creative juices flowing!

1.  Share this Campaign 

2. Words of love and encouragement are always welcome!  

3. Jeremy’s family is one of great faith sometimes we really underestimate the   power of sincere prayer.  

    1. Say a prayer for them (or many)

    2. Pray for the success of this Campaign on their behalf

4. Do you know them personally?

    1.  Don’t wait for them to ask for something!

    2. Just do!

    3. Make an offer

    4. Give a virtual hug

5. Live close?

   1. Shovel their walk

   2. See if they need errands done

   3. Give a hug

6. Have you had the thought to do something but it just seems weird?  If it’s good do it anyway!

7. Don’t wait for the perfect thing or perfect moment they will never come along. If you want to do something do it!❤️

Thanks again for all the love and support you have given this sweet family.

I am so grateful to each of you for building a community around them during this difficult journey. I want you to know that Jeremy, Marie and their children as well as many extended family have expressed their gratitude for each of you at every turn.   

Thank you so much for the outpouring of love and faith on their behalf.  Keep up the great work! There will be many difficult days ahead.

Original Post:
I am starting this campaign unbeknownst to my cousin and friend Jeremy Harris.  Jeremy is a fun loving, funny guy with a strong work ethic and an unyielding dedication to his family. 

It is my hope that this campaign will bless Jeremy and his family with some breathing space to heal physically, emotionally and spiritually. With your help and the grace of God I know we can do this!

The past three years have been very difficult for Jeremy and his family; they’ve been delivered blow after unimaginable blow.   We join the difficult journey at the passing of Jeremy’s mother shortly followed by the very shocking death of his beloved son, Jared. During this time of emotional upheaval and unrest Jeremy had to work far away from his family in order to provide them with necessities of life. This would be difficult at anytime but especially when you’re in the greatest need of family support and togetherness.  

When Jeremy’s family was finally able to relocate so they could all be together under the same roof, illness struck in Marie’s family(Jeremy’s wife) now requiring Marie to be the one to be far from the family for a time. Finally it seemed that things were settling and that the family could finally grieve and heal together; then the unthinkable happened—Jeremy was diagnosed with stage 4 oral cancer.  

What was slated to be a 12-16hr long surgery ended up being significantly longer. During the surgery the lower left mandible (jaw-including teeth) was removed as the cancer had eroded into the jaw bone.  The cancerous tumor inside his mouth was removed as well. 

Jeremy’s fibula bone from his leg was then harvested and grafted to replace his jaw bone. Implants for his teeth were added but the artificial teeth would not be placed for sometime (between 12-18 months post surgery) so he is short all teeth on the lower left mandible at this time.  

The new mandible had to have a large skin graft which in time is to become his new gums. There was a number of lymph nodes removed as well from his neck which left scaring in the area. He was in the ICU for a time with feeding tubes through his nose and a tracheotomy in his neck for about 10 days following surgery. The tracheotomy and tubing were then removed and he had to remain in the hospital for a few days following its removal. 

The surgery was a success!   

One month after surgery Jeremy was in hospital once again.  This time to have his gallbladder removed.  Once this hurdle was overcome it was back to healing at home.

Frustratingly, Jeremy’s leg would NOT heal. The very painful wound became infected twice.  Jeremy had to regularly endure the excruciating task of having the wound cleaned.  Gratefully much of this was able to be done through homecare so he could spend this time at home instead of in hospital.  FINALLY almost SIX months later the wound closed!  

Unfortunately relief would not last long.  Jeremy has developed a large abscess at the site of his bone graft which has resulted in lengthy hospital stays, more surgeries and IV antibiotic treatment only to be told that the bone graft is dying and they may have to start the whole process over removing the graft, harvesting the fibula from his other leg etc. 

Regrettably, insurance will not cover all the expenses associated with this course of treatment and unwelcome financial surprises keep popping up. For example, once released from hospital, Jeremy will have to continue with IV antibiotics.  The home IV program, an additional cost, not covered by insurance will cost an estimated $800.00 - $1000.00 if it continues only for the predicted amount of time. 

At this time Marie is unable to work so that she can care for Jeremy.  The added stress of both Jeremy and Marie being unable to work for an unknown period of time is HUGE. 

It has been so inspiring to see how positive Jeremy and his family have been during this horrible time.  They have found their greatest strength in their faith.  

The following is a quote from Jeremy’s Facebook page when he announced his diagnosis and treatment plan six months ago.

“I wish to thank everyone in advance for your love, support and assistance...  Thank you for your prayers, kind words, and gestures as well. You are a large part as to why we will succeed and move forward in life. This is a trial we have been given to overcome by the Lord and we will overcome it with our chins up, shoulders back and one foot in front of the other with friends on all sides to catch us should we fall. We love you and may God bless you in your sustainment of our family.” 

Although all has not gone as planned the positivity has remained.  There are hard days. This is a tough road to walk but they remain steadfast in their determination to overcome once again.

Please consider donating ANY amount you can. Just think the ripple effect that would happen if everyone who sees this campaign could donate even $5, share and say a prayer.  What kind of difference could we make for this family?

Thank you in advance for your love and support.
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Organizer and beneficiary

LD CB Smith 
Edmonton, AB
Marie and or Jeremy Harris 
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