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childhood cancer awareness

Jalen & Breanna happy and healthy in 2003.

Have Faith Be Strong was started by our son Jalen who at the age of 13 was diagnosed with cancer.It was only a few years earlier that his little sister Breanna lost her battle to cancer at the age of 4. Our family was devastaded beyond belief. Despite what Jalen had witnessed, as his little sister Breanna courageously battled cancer and lost her life in the end, he had faith that God would get him through it. He came up with the slogan “Have Faith Be Strong”. Jalen was determined to be strong and not allow cancer to take his life. Jalen continued going to school and finished middle school with a perfect 4.0 g.p.a. He continued to play the saxophone in the school band and compete on his sports teams.
Jalen was an exceptional student and athlete. He was a true scholar-athlete. He played football, basketball, lacrosse, cross country and track & field. He excelled at all sports and competed in the Junior Olympic National Championship Meet in cross country once and four times in track & field. Jalen recieved many awards including the “Most Inspirational Student” award at Patrick Henry Elementary School and Newcomb Academy Middle School. He was also on the honor roll at both schools.
Newcomb Academy held a special ceremony in Jalen’s honor to name the athletic field after him. Jalen was in declining health but was able to attend the ceremony in a wheel chair. The ceremony included U.S.C. head coach Ron Allice as well as Track & Field Olympic Gold Medalist Shaun Crawford and Ginnie Crawford. Jalen took pictures with the special guests below the “Jalen Thayer Field” sign and exchanged autographs. Jalen passed away the following week.
Patrick Henry Elementary School created a beautiful mural in honor and memory of Jalen and Breanna shortly after Jalen passed away. The mural is titled “Live your Legacy” and was painted by Mrs. Fiala, a teacher at Patrick Henry.
Jalen wanted to help other kids with cancer like his little sister Breanna and himself. We are here to continue the work started by Jalen in honor and memory of his little sister Breanna. Have Faith Be Strong is the organization that will continue what began with Breanna and Jalen.