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October 2005


  September           Jan              December

Jan's Story


as told by Jan


Update- August 2012- "Thank you so much for all the wonderful greeting cards. They lift me up! Ive had so much trouble since my last couple of strokes earlier this year. I've lost so much speech and written language that 'I'm back to the basics. I'm in regular therapy sessions to help me relearn. It's so hard but I'm determined. Thank you!"


I have always done volunteer work since I was a child. I use to have Muscular Dystrophy carnivals in my back yard as a child. Later, I got involved with the American Cancer Society and realized I could do more. I started going to all the hospitals as Mrs. Claus, The Great Pumpkin, The Easter Bunny and Sunrise the Clown. I would visit all the children in the oncology wards and bring them gifts. I would do clowning to raise money so I could help the children and grant their wishes. I have sent children to Disney world and Disneyland along with granting various other wishes.


In 1989, I founded and spearheaded a very special project called "Sunrise at Fantasy Valley". This was a cancer retreat on 78 acres in Western Maryland at Deep Creek Lake, held every Memorial Day and Labor Day, I would create a special weekend and many of my special cancer families would attend. After having the retreat for 15 1/2 years, the property was sold in 2004. These kids mean the world to me. They would fight such a battle. They so touched my heart. My life has been so enriched by knowing and working with these wonderful children and their families. It has been so much fun and to see the smiles on their little faces and the twinkle in their eyes.




I was also involved in the POW/MIA movement. I would write to soldiers and visit them in the hospital at Walter Reed. I would get a group together and we would go sing for them.


In 1996, I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis. However, the specialists at the University of Maryland and John Hopkins feel I've had this 15-20 years prior. I had my thymectomy surgery in 2002 for my MG and I've had to undergo IVIG treatments as part of my treatment for my MG. I continued to help out with the Muscular Dystrophy Association and little did I realize I would be diagnosed with a form of it officially in 1998.


In 2002, I was the Personal Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient for Maryland, chosen by MDA and I was on the telethon. I have received many awards nationally and locally for my volunteer work. This was all accepted in honor of God as this was my cancer ministry. I made it my mission to raise public awareness of Myasthenia Gravis so no one would ever have to go through what I did.


I went into the hospital on November 17, 2003 for a "simple heart cath" test. I did not return home until March 27, 2004. I had 5 blockages in 3 vessels and had to have by-pass surgery immediately. While in recovery I didn't respond. I had to be shocked twice. They finally did a Cat-scan which revealed I had suffered a major stroke on my brainstem. I was in a coma, totally paralyzed. My husband was told numerous times I wasn't going to make it. I was on life support. I had to live in a rehab for two months and was told I would never walk again. Well, I am here to say I AM A MIRACLE. I can walk again,(even if they are baby steps and at a slow pace). I have to use my wheelchair and/or walker, I kept saying and repeating to myself "We walk by faith not by sight". The major stroke on my brainstem took my peripheral vision and I am blind on the sides of my eyes and I have problems with my sight. I can no longer drive to the loss of my vision. This is where losing my independence is so hard for me.


I know Through Christ, all things are possible and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. It's been awesome to have gone through this journey. A lot of good things have happened. I feel blessed that God chose me for this journey and is using me as his vessel to spread his goodness and wonder. I never ever blamed God or asked "WHY? WHY ME?"... I say, why not me? Look at what Jesus did for us. The Lord never once left me, he has never forsaken me or abandoned me. At death's doorstep and in the worst place I have ever been, Jesus was there. I have a wonderful life and I don't take anything for granted, I never have, I live my life for Christ.


Yes, I am a Miracle. God Bless


My favorite color is blue, I love sunrises and sunsets. I love boyd's bears and bears of all kinds, angels, and snowmen. I have an adorable dog, Harley, whom I just love to pieces. I love to watch the snow and I love the mountains and the ocean. I am very patriotic.















October 2005 Feature




Name: Jan J.

Birthday:  December 26

Diagnosis: Brainstem Stroke/Muscular Dystrophy/Myasthenia Gravis

Interests/Likes: Boyd's Bears/Angels/Snowmen/Favorite

Color is Blue

Updates on: Jan


Mailing Address:


Jan J.

c/o Shareacard.org

992 Hershey Road

Elizabethtown, Pa 17022




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