“Mom, please take me to Ryan House.”
Fifteen year old Jazmin from Tolleson loved to play soccer. It was her favorite sport and she was good at it. In January 2014 Jazmin told her mom, Sylvia, that she wanted to quit playing — she was just too tired. Later that year, Jazmin was diagnosed with stomach cancer and was given six months to live.
Devastation set in. Jazmin and her family had major decisions to make. Should she go through chemotherapy? Should she have major surgery to remove key organs? This surgery on her frail body could result in kidney failure, deafness and blindness. Doctors said she could live another year or two at the most. Jazmin made her decision. She wanted to take the days she had to run, and she wanted to swim in the ocean.
In the fall Jazmin told her mom, “It’s time to go to Ryan House.”
It was her sister’s birthday shortly after Jazmin arrived and Ryan House helped the family celebrate. They made it a pool party so Jazmin could swim. That night Ryan House brought the ocean to Jazmin. The family swam together in the hydrotherapy pool. It was magical.
Jazmin’s family visited her and cooked in the S’Mores Café as if it were their own kitchen. Jazmin and her friends had sleepovers and ordered pizza. Everyone was peaceful. Everyone was comfortable.
Jazmin recorded legacy videos in the “Story of Me” room for her mother and father. She instructed the staff to give these videos to her parents after she died. The staff created a memory book for visitors to write their memories of Jazmin during this last stay at Ryan House.
Just before Thanksgiving, Jazmin died peacefully, surrounded by her friends and family.
“Ryan House is a true gift,” says Sylvia. “We were able to treasure our last days and moments with Jazmin.”