Jayde M. Schools, Incorporated (JMS) was created March 2015 and is named in honor of Jayde Mariah Schools, affectionately called Lady Jayde. Lady Jayde succumbed to Acute Megakaryoblastic Leukemia (AMKL), also known as AML M7, a rare form of Acute Myeloid Leukemia that attacks immature blood cells, at the age of 2 years old. The mission of JMS is to bring awareness to pediatric cancer and to support those who find themselves with this exclusive, yet unwanted, membership. In the past five (5) years, we have done just that. I know her story well because I am her grandmother and the president of JMS.
Currently, pediatric cancer patients and their families at Children’s National Health System (Washington, DC), Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore, MD) and The Children’s Inn at NIH (Bethesda, MD) are beneficiaries of monetary donations provided by Jayde M. Schools, Incorporated (JMS). These funds are given in the form of gift cards directly to families that have been identified by social workers as candidates for assistance. Visa® gift cards totaling $500.00 are provided in $25.00 increments and donated quarterly to all three hospitals. They may be used for whatever need families determine but according to the social workers the cards are most often used for food, transportation and parking. In 2019, we were able to provide over 120 families with gift cards and anticipate that number to increase to over 220 families in 2020.
During the month of November, JMS participates in Children’s National Health System’s Thanksgiving Giveaway. The holiday season can be a lonely time for those in the hospital so throw blankets, stuffed animals and grocery gift cards are provided to inpatient families. JMS has committed to donating these items to each family that is inpatient during this time on the Hematology/Oncology floor which consists of 42 rooms. This past year was JMS’ fourth year in providing support to these families.
In addition to providing support to families through hospitals, JMS provides direct financial support to families in the local community that are referred to us or find us through our social media presence and word of mouth. In the past, we have provided support to families for such things as acupuncture for pain maintenance, household bills, groceries and even a birthday cake. Unfortunately, the needs of families do not cease to exist because a family is experiencing pediatric cancer and even become exacerbated when household incomes are reduced. The reduction of income is a very real occurrence for parents fighting pediatric cancer.
We will continue to be support families fighting a cancer diagnosis for as long as we are needed. Whether it is raising funds for cancer research or providing funds for a celebratory pizza party, JMS is committed to honoring Lady Jayde’s memory by helping others for as long as pediatric cancer exists.