"Jamie was a very smiley and happy baby and she always wanted to be held" describes her mom Kelly Knotts. "She followed her brother's actions with her curious eyes... she was happy to go on outings like apple picking, visiting a few friends' houses and walks around the neighborhood."
But, for Kelly and her husband Kurt of Vernon, that was about to change. "When Jamie was 11 weeks old, one Friday in October of 2009, I knew something was just not right with her." By Sunday, Kelly and Kurt took their daughter to the emergency room at Connecticut Children's. After a couple of hours in the E.R. and "several scans, we were told she had a liver tumor" Kelly says. Jamie was admitted to the hospital and doctors later determined the tumor was so rare, it was one in a million. While Kelly and Kurt moved in to the hospital to be by Jamie's side, Kelly tells me "we had such phenemonal help from our family and friends who came to care for Braeden" their two and a half year old son. Meantime, Connecticut Children's, treated the Knotts like family. Kelly says "from the first moments in the emergency room, the staff at CT Children's always asked us how they could help us, what we needed or if we had any questions." Kelly remembers one particular night when one of the nurses did Jamie's laundry when she got sick from chemo. A few months later when the Knotts' were told it was Jamie's last several days, "they gave us two rooms to use, so family could visit, stay over and take turns holding Jamie" Kelly adds. Kelly says they are still friends with the nurses and staff at CCMC today.
The Knotts wanted to do something following Jamie's death to "keep the love alive and give back to an incredible place" Kelly says. Because she enjoys running, they opted for a 5K race and walk fundraiser. Now in it's 6th year, Jamie's Run is scheduled for November 8th at Standish Park in Old Wethersfield. Even though Kelly and Kurt are busy organizing the event, Kelly says "I manage to jump out onto the course and run the 5K in memory and honor of my daughter... it's fulfilling knowing we, with the help of so many, are doing something so full of goodness and love."
You can register as an individual or family and you can run or walk. There's even a children's run. The money raised goes to "Hematology/Oncology Clinical Trials program at CT Children's" as well as "the Hematology/Oncology Family Assistance Fund to help families pay bills and expenses that suddenly occur from their child's diagnosis."
As for their son Braeden, Kelly says "we have always been very open about Jamie and her death and we pray and talk about her daily, so Braeden has mostly positive memories."