Hayden Lying on a couch in the living room, surrounded by family and friends, Jerod Faucett took one last breath and ended his five-year battle with Leukemia.
All day long the Hayden High School senior laid on the baby-blue couch suffering from pain, waiting for his fight against the blood-disease to end, which took place on Sept. 30.
"All afternoon he would tell me he was suffering, and that he just wanted to go to heaven," said his mother, Kathy Faucett. "We told him it was OK for him to go."
With his mother and father, Dan Faucett, at his side comforting him, Jerod died just after 7 p.m.
"He went from our arms to the arms of the Lord," she said from the living room that is adorned with numerous family pictures.
Jerod's battle included three years of chemotherapy that was followed by a 1999 bone marrow transplant.
Not to mention all the days he suffered from the treatments that attempted to kill the cancer from his blood.
"He was not a quitter," his mother said.
The cancer appeared in the Faucett's second of three children innocently in the summer of 1995.
As Jerod was playing baseball that summer, one of his two passions, his feet started to hurt.
"We thought maybe it was the new cleats we bought him," she said. "We did not think anything of it."
The pain persisted prompting the couple to take their 12-year-old son to be seen by a doctor.
After numerous visits, doctors here suggested Jerod be seen by a specialist.
While at Children's Hospital in Denver, the family got the news he had Leukemia.
To treat the cancer, Jerod was placed on chemotherapy immediately.
After three years of treatment, all signs pointed in the right direction for Jerod.
Jerod's cancer was in remission until March of 1999.
The next treatment to fight the cancer would be for Jerod to undergo a bone marrow transplant at a hospital in Seattle, Wash.
To undergo the transplant, a bone marrow match was needed.
One of the matches happened to be his mother, which had the probability of less than five percent.
"To be able to give your child life twice was pretty incredible," Kathy said.
Jerod underwent the transplant in September. Like the chemotherapy treatment, his condition improved after the procedure.
"Things were going good," Dan said. "Then all of a sudden he stopped making blood."
In November, Jerod's condition continued to get worse, and he was told that he had about two months to live.
"He wanted to come home, so we came home in November," he said.
In June of this year, Jerod went back to Seattle to undergo two days of tests, including one to find out how much cancer was in his bone marrow.
Jerod and his parents left Seattle feeling encouraged.
"They felt he was doing good," Dan said. "But a week later we found out that 40 percent of his bone marrow had cancer cells."
Jerod found out the news on a family trip in California.
"He knew his time was short and he would not graduate," Dan said.
Jerod's kidneys and liver could not withstand anymore treatment, he said.
Although he knew his time was short, Jerod prepared to attend the first day of school at Hayden High School. His junior year he was schooled at home by his mother, a substitute teacher.
"He really wanted to be a senior," Kathy said. "On the first day of school, he had to take morphine for pain, but he did not want to miss the first day."
Jerod attended school for about a little more than a week, but was unable to continue.
Through it all Jerod never complained of having the cancer.
"He always accepted it," Dan said. "There were times he was tired and sick, but he never got mad."
The family has relied in its faith in God to pull through this time.
"We know it was the Lord's work," Kathy said. "God has been with him the whole time. It was not a mistake he got cancer. "
To reach Gary E. Salazar call 871-4205 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org