People paying it forward in honor of young cancer victim - New York News

People paying it forward in honor of young cancer victim from Midland

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By Taryn Asher
Fox 2 News


Unexplainable random acts of kindness from total strangers from Midland, Michigan to metro Detroit and places all around world inspired by a little boy and his dying wish.

It June 2010, Tom and Nicole Lamb learned their son Jayden was suffering from cancerous tumors on his spine that would spread to his brain.  Like a flip of a switch, Jayden went from an active six-year-old who loved playing tee ball and taking part in his Boy Scout adventures to having to deal with the chronic pain of cancer and its treatments.

However, Jayden never let it crush his spirit.

"He had pretty much kept a smile on his face through all the treatment.  The cancer really never got him down at all," his father said.

Family friends and the community rallied around Jayden and his family, offering financial support while his parents sat at their son's bedside and emotional strength by posting on his Facebook page "Keep on Truckin' Team Jayden".

"We just tried to cherish every moment that we could ever have with him and just hold him and love him," his mother said.

Jayden fought cancer for more than two years.  In his final days, his father still prayed his son could live a normal life. Tom will never forget their final conversation.

"Woke Jayden up and he looked me right in the eye and one of the first things he said was 'Daddy, I'm never going to get married.'  I'm like, 'Why would you say that to me buddy?'  And he said, 'God needs me more.  I was your angel before I was born.'"

Jayden died November 27, a pain no parent should endure, but through the heartache the Lambs still wanted to thank everyone who gave them strength them along the way.  They bought someone a coffee and then picked up someone else's dinner tab, what they could to show their gratitude the way Jayden would want them to.

"It's something a parent never thinks that they're going to learn from their child and I have," his father said.

Their generous acts caught on.  People in their Midland community started doing the same, calling it "Pay It Forward Jayden Style".  A mother of two young girls was about to cancel her Kmart Christmas layaway order only to learn someone had paid it off.  Store manager Stephen Hilliard has watched it happen several times, every time because of Jayden's wish of giving.

"It's really touched me to be able to witness these acts of generosity," he said.

Another person dropped a gold diamond ring into a Salvation Army red kettle.  Buffalo Wild Wings waitress Tammy Upchurch picked up someone's grocery bill and a restaurant tab.

"Just touched my heart.  I love my kids more and more because of it," she said.

In line at the drive-through, someone bought Abby Bierscbach coffee, so she paid it forward.

"Hopefully there was somebody behind her.  Hopefully she did it, you know, and it will keep going," she said.

It has.  Back on Jayden's Facebook page thousands of people are posting similar acts of compassion from all over the world.

Jayden touched so many lives and now they want to say thank you.  Jayden would've been nine years old on December 12.  At his Midland church, about a thousand people gathered to launch Chinese lanterns sending their little angel a birthday party to Heaven.

As the "Pay It Forward Jayden Style" movement continues to grow, his father can't help but think back to his son's final days and their final conversation.  He now realizes Jayden's journey was far from over.

"I think back to when he said 'God needs me more' and it makes me wonder if that's what this is."

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