Jack was born strong and healthy. He was the third of four children, and adored by all who knew him. As he grew older, his confident personality began to shine.
Jack Schumacher loved baseball.
The quick-witted 14-year-old was always happiest on the pitcher’s mound.
“He loved the challenge of striking out a batter,” said Jack’s mom, Tammi. “He could really throw the ball.”
His teammates called him, “Shoe.” Some because of his last name, others did so because he could never seem to keep his cleats laced up.
“He’d be out on the mound and we’d all be shouting, ‘Shoes! Tie your shoes, Jack,'” said Tammi. “That was my Jack.”
Jack’s biggest dream in life was to play professional baseball, and one day his family thought he would.
Cancer had other plans.
“After Jack’s diagnosis, we were hopeful. There was chemotherapy, radiation and invasive surgeries,” said Tammi. “All of it took him out of the game, which was so hard.”
When Make-A-Wish® Oregon volunteers first met Jack, he was dreaming up wishes related to all things baseball.
“There was even talk about going to a San Francisco Giants game to meet his favorite player, Buster Posey. But then, we found out Jack’s cancer was terminal.”
Doctors gave Jack months to live.
“Jack’s perspective instantly changed. He became preoccupied with time and how best to spend it. My son decided the one wish he wanted more than anything in the whole world was to go to Hawaii with his family.”
A wish to create meaningful memories away from the hospital and the weight of what was to come.
“In granting my son's wish, Make-A-Wish Oregon gave my family the chance to see Jack smiling his biggest smiles, laughing the biggest laughs and loving with no limits,” said Tammi. “If I could just hold on to that place in time, I would be over the top living in pure joy.”
The wish experience united Jack’s family.
“It gave me so much love and deep admiration for my young man. It took away my pain, my anger toward cancer and what it did to my son's body and his mind. The beauty of Hawaii, the sunsets, the conversations around the jacuzzi tub, all of it was special because we were in this space in time together."
Jack shared his story with friends, family and complete strangers in hopes to inspire people to live life to the fullest. He started a LEGO®
drive for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, where he received treatment, and continued to look for ways to give back to other families.
“The diagnosis truly shifted his mindset to: How can I make an impact? My generous, brave boy was wise beyond his years,” said Tammi. “He was always thinking of others up until the very end. A true hero.”
Jack sadly lost his battle with bone cancer this year.
“His biggest fear was that he’d be forgotten. I know in my heart he’d want you to hear his story, in hopes it inspires you to help other children, just like him. Make-A-Wish Oregon gave our family the most incredible gift imaginable. The gift of everlasting memories. Your support will help bring a child joy during some of their darkest days and that joy gives them the strength to keep fighting for their own health."
Kids like Jack are waiting for their wishes to come true. You can make an impact today, by donating in Jack’s honor.