OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – It’s a quiet afternoon, and sisters Jayden, Jordan and Jurnee Kirk are coloring together at the family table in their Oklahoma City home.
Jayden and Jordan are 14-year-old twins but are dramatically different in height. That’s because Jayden is battling, for the second time, a life-threatening health issue.
“It started when she was three-and-a-half, four years old” explains Jayden’s mother, Christina Griffin, “She was complaining of headaches, and we noticed her gait was off.”
That was over a decade ago when Jayden was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She received intensive treatment and went into remission. Last February, Jayden’s mother started noticing new and troubling symptoms.
“She made a comment, my hand shakes when I write. So, we’re at dinner passing everything, and I saw her hand shake. So I said, OK after dinner we’re going to the hospital.”
New scans revealed an even more dangerous enemy. It was diagnosed as an aggressive brain tumor called a glioblastoma. She quickly underwent brain surgery, which unfortunately didn’t slow it down.
“The two weeks she was healing, it grew back, so it’s very aggressive,” said Christina.
Jayden’s dad, Jobie Kirk says of his daughter “She’s the rock. She was always the strong one.”
Jayden had to be strong, even as the tumor impacted her ability to speak clearly. She loves to learn and was patient through new rounds of chemo and radiation at OU Children’s Hospital and Jimmy Everest Cancer Center. Her parents say they leaned hard on their JEC team’s expertise and God’s grace.
“When I need something, they’ll be on point” says Jobie about the doctors and nurses at Jimmy Everest Cancer Center, “I gotta give them ten stars.”
Christina nods in agreement “This is a praying family. We do have faith and God can change anything.”
Dad adds “God is good, and this is tough but He always makes a way.”
Right now it’s all hands on deck, making each day count.
“Sometimes we come up with ideas to cook and bake” says Jayden’s twin, Jordan. Younger sister Jurnee adds “She (Jayden) likes to be independent and when we try to help her she tries to do it herself.”
This tight-knit family is grateful for each medical intervention, which gives them precious family time.
“We’re trying to make memories,” says Christine.
Jobie nods “Yes, and she’s a great kid. A really great kid.”
If you’d like to help kids like Jayden fight cancer, consider donating to JECFriends.org.