Jayson Colada Adams was born on January 14, 1998 in San Diego, California. He is the third child of Henry & Jessie Adams. He is the baby brother of Justin (21) and Kristen (18) and the big brother of Keilani (6). He lived with his family in Murrieta, California the last few months of his life and attended Vista Murrieta High School as a sophomore. Jayson passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 after almost two years of courageously battling two rare forms of cancer. He was surrounded by his loving family.
For the first 5 years of his life, Jayson lived in Spring Valley, California with his family. He grew up with his cousins and was especially close to his cousin, Katrina, who was 7 months younger. They were often referred to as the Adams' twins because they were so alike and had a special bond. Their unique relationship continued despite the many miles that separated them later on.
As a military dependent, Jayson experienced moving around several times. After just turning 5 years old, his family moved to Great Lakes, Illinois. He attended St. James Catholic School in Highwood, Illinois. During his kindergarten promotional ceremony, his teacher gave him the award for "Most Spunky". He was a gentle, happy little boy with a very kind soul. Jayson also had a joyful spirit. He played soccer for one season while at Great Lakes. When he played the goalie position, he would sometimes dance in front of the goal when the ball was at the other end of the field, even though there was no music. In the cold winter months, he enjoyed playing in the snow, building a fort, making snow angels and riding on a sled pulled by his dad on his tractor.
During the time at Great Lakes, his family met many families who have become lifelong friends. He enjoyed camping and going on road trips with his family and friends from the Asian American Military Association of Great Lakes (AAMAGL). With these friends, they traveled to many places such as Disneyworld, St. Louis, Mall of America, and Washington DC. These opportunities created many memories for the family, especially Jayson. He would often reminisce with his childhood friends about the many trips and activities they did while in Illinois.
When he was 9 years old, his family moved once again. This time it was to a warmer place…the island of Oahu in Hawaii. They lived in Ewa Beach and Jayson's dad was stationed at Pearl Harbor. While in Hawaii, he attended Iroquois Point Elementary School and was accepted to their GATE program. He was also a member of the track and Robotic teams. Jayson enjoyed going to the beach, water park and hanging out with friends after school. Jayson also embraced the casual lifestyle of Hawaii. This was the time when he let his hair grow out to the point where his mother threatened to put hair clips in it because his bangs went all the way down passed his nose.
While in Hawaii, he made some discoveries. He discovered a love for music. He began playing the trombone in 7th grade at Ewa Makai Middle School. He also taught himself to play the ukulele and guitar with the help of YouTube videos. This is also the time he realized that girls didn't have cooties. He had a girlfriend for almost 2 months before his parents ever found out!
As Jayson's younger cousins got older, they idolized him. His gentleness and kindness towards them played a major role in their increasing love for him. This was more obvious when Jayson became ill. His younger cousin, Matthew, was often by his side when they came over to visit. He also wrote a speech to describe why he loved his Kuya Jayson. He put this speech in a frame along with a picture of the two of them and gave it as a gift to Jayson. His younger cousins were always very happy to see him whenever he returned to San Diego.
When his father retired from the navy in mid-2011, they finally moved back to San Diego. His family was reunited again with the large extended family that he had missed while in Illinois and Hawaii. He enjoyed spending time with his many cousins and relatives. He was able to adjust quickly to another new school and made friends easily at Mesa Verde Middle School.
Unfortunately though, the laid back lifestyle of Hawaii didn't stay in Hawaii. He was now studying in a school that had higher expectations and a more demanding curriculum. This was more than what he was used to. He struggled during the first semester he was at Mesa Verde. He didn't get his assignments completed on time and his parents had several meetings with his teachers regarding this problem. It took a while to get him back on track, but he did. He later attended Westview High School in Rancho Penasquitos for one semester and his impact there was evident in the support he received from his Westview family while he was ill.
During the fall of 2011, health issues began to arise. He was taken to the Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) several times for different issues (hip pain, chest pain, abdominal pain). Jayson was hospitalized at the NMCSD on December 4, 2011 for pancreatitis. It was unusual for a 13 year old to have pancreatitis and this concerned the team of doctors who were on duty at the emergency room. Additional tests were done along with a bone marrow biopsy. The doctors' concerns were warranted because Jayson was diagnosed with Stage 4 Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma cancer on December 7, 2011. This was a rare cancer that originated in muscle cells. The cancer had already spread to his bone marrow, lungs, back and chest by the time it was discovered. We later found out that the probability of Jayson surviving for at least 5 years was only 25%.
After he was diagnosed, he immediately began chemotherapy treatment on December 9, 2011. He completed his treatment in mid-January 2013 and was in remission. Unfortunately, this was short-lived. The cancer came back in mid-March 2013 and he began chemo treatment once again. After just 3 months into the second treatment, it was determined that the treatment was not working. The cancer had spread to his femur bones and his lungs. At this point, his doctors didn't believe they could cure him. All they could do was try to prevent the cancer from spreading even more. Salvage therapy was quickly started along with radiation treatments. After a month and a half, the cancer was contained.
Then on the night of September 8, 2013, Jayson was brought in again to the NMCSD with a low grade fever. After undergoing some lab tests and PET scan, they learned that the fever was the least of his problems. It was determined that his condition had gotten worse and his health was expected to deteriorate quickly. His white blood count was going through the roof. He was transferred to the Pediatric ICU on September 9, 2013. The following day, he was diagnosed with another rare form of cancer, Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), a type of blood cancer. Jayson was sedated and intubated (breathing tube put in) the following day. Chemotherapy began a few days later to treat the AML. During the next few weeks, he had multi-organ failure, mainly his kidneys and liver, along with other complications. His doctors were not very hopeful that Jayson would recover. However, through the work of his doctors, nurses and other medical staff and with God's love and mercy, he improved gradually. It wasn't an easy road. After every improvement, another set-back would arise. The family was on an emotional rollercoaster most of the time.
His breathing tube was successfully removed after the second attempt. He was weak and continued to have complications, but after an additional 2-3 weeks, Jayson was stable enough to go home for a trial period. He had asked for 5 days at home. His doctors gave him that time, but he was required to return to the hospital on the 5th day for check-up. Once he was discharged from the hospital, he was put under hospice care at home. During his check-up on the 5th day, he was stable and was allowed to go back home after his blood transfusion. However he had to go back to the hospital twice a week for lab work and blood transfusions, if needed. He steadily improved as the weeks went by and many were amazed and pleased with his progress. He seemed to be rejuvenated and more comfortable just by being at home with his family. Unfortunately, after about 3 weeks at home, his body began to get weaker again. He wasn't able to walk with the help of his walker at all and any slight movement required him to catch his breathe afterwards. Although his will to live was strong, his physical body was weak. He was called home by God on the afternoon of November 12, 2013. He is now living in paradise; the place where many hope to someday be.
Jayson is a true testimony of God's love to many family, friends, medical personnel, teachers and even strangers. His positive and joyful attitude throughout his illness has been an example of how to live even when faced with overwhelming challenges. Throughout his battle he remained faithful to God and he relied on Him and trusted Him. His parents believe that his involvement in the Youth for Christ (YFC) ministry has been one of the primary reasons why he was able to go through this difficult time with grace.
Jayson had attended an YFC weekend camp retreat this past February 2013 when his older sister invited him along with a few other friends. He had a great time at the retreat and was touched by the Holy Spirit during that weekend. After the retreat, he continued attending the weekly meetings to worship and pray to the Almighty Father. His dedication to this ministry has helped him blossom spiritually and in return, he was blessed with friends who share the same love for Christ.
His spiritual development was evident when he shared his personal story to a group of teens during a Youth for Christ weekend camp retreat in Corona, California in mid-August 2013. Their group hosted about 40 youths from the Corona area and Jayson talked about God's love on the first night of the retreat. He shared with them how he felt and what went through his mind when he found out he had cancer. Initially, he felt his life was over and he thought about what he may not be able to experience such as finding love, marrying and having his own kids. During his treatment he asked God why he was surviving while others were not. He said he had many conversations with God during this period and he concluded that he was alive because of God's love for him. That was his message to his fellow teens. God loved each and every one of them regardless of what circumstances they may find themselves in. This was a beautiful message for all to remember and to share.
Jayson told his parents that he wanted to make others happy and also be a source of inspiration. He was able to do both in the short time he was on earth. Jayson's story is one of love, faith, inspiration and inner strength. Many who know Jayson have been positively impacted by him. His infectious smile, courageous spirit, laid back style and welcoming attitude are blessings to others. One way or another, the lives of anyone who've spent some time with Jayson were changed because they met him. In his Facebook account, he has a quote: "The things you take for granted, someone else is praying for. Be Thankful." Wise words to live by and people should keep this in the forefront of their mind as they look at their own lives.
Jayson has been so abundantly blessed. He saw and experienced for himself the love and kindness of his family and friends. Very few people are lucky enough to see that, let alone experience it. Jayson was a witness to God's love. He shared his experience of meeting Jesus and his departed Tita Anna, face to face, at the gates of heaven while he was sedated on earth. He remembered seeing angels flying above him singing hymns and praising God. Jesus turned him away from the gate, telling him to "Go back my child for I love you." He was given an additional two months with his grateful family and he shared this story to those he talked to.
God knew how Jayson's life was going to be and he graciously provided the right people at the right time to help him. He also gave him the peace to accept this devastating challenge in his life. He never showed any bitterness or anger nor did he ask "Why me?" He was a source of strength for everyone and was often the one who comforted his family. Many may not understand why Jayson had to go through this difficult time, but God had a purpose for him and perhaps He'll reveal what that is someday.
Jayson is now in the arms of his loving Father and he will continue to be an example to the many that know him or know of him. Jayson is definitely loved and will be greatly missed. Many have walked with Jayson in his journey and he has left his footprints in their hearts. Many who met him will never be the same because of his death, but they are positively changed because of his life.
"What comes easy won't last. What lasts won't come easy"
– a post from Jayson's Facebook, 2/6/13
We are thankful that the Lord brought Jayson into our lives and we were able to witness his love, courage and strength on a daily basis. We are thankful that Jayson has touched so many lives and filled many hearts with fond memories. We are thankful for the heartfelt prayers and unending support that Jayson and our family have received during these past few years. We are thankful that Jayson will forever be a part of our lives and we will remember his strength and courage as we face life's battles.
Thank you Jayson for being an amazing son, a loyal brother, a selfless cousin, a humble nephew, a loving grandson and an inspirational friend. Though our heart aches, we are comforted in knowing that you are no longer in pain and are with your loving Father with a new mission in heaven. We promise to honor your life Jayson by living a life that is honorable to God.
We love you.