Cape Breton communities show support for Jaycee's grieving family
A Cape Breton community has come together to support a family dealing with the loss of their little girl.
Since her death, a movement of people has come together to perform random acts of kindness and it has spread throughout Glace Bay and surrounding areas.
It was an emotional day at the ball park as hundreds of players, family and friends gathered to remember the life of a little girl that has touched an entire community.
“The turn out here today was phenomenal,” said Jaycee’s mother, Allison Kendall. “It's so heartwarming that our community shows so much respect. It's amazing. My little girl is smiling up in heaven and she's so proud.”
At nearly four years old, Jaycee Tracey died suddenly on May 6 from meningococcal septicemia.
The grieving process has been hard on the family.
“It's been a nightmare,” said Jaycee’s grandmother Carol Boutilier. “Every day you wake up and hate to open your eyes because you realize again that she's not there. It' doesn't get any easier.”
Despite the family’s pain, they continue to move forward with a goal in mind to bring awareness about the deadly disease.
With the help of friends at the field, they've launched a movement called “Jay It Forward,” which includes handing out cards to people to encourage them to perform acts of kindness.
Family friend Alana McKay has been there to provide support.
“We just wanted to do something to help in way that was positive to help with the grieving and the loss of somebody so special,” McKay said.
There was not a dry eye on field as the ceremony came to a close and Jaycee's little sister Jaya threw out the ceremonial pitch.
“It was emotional for sure,” McKay said. “She is just sweet. We were just happy we could include her and make her a part of this because she's just as important.”
The Jay It Forward movement is already gaining momentum. A number of schools have adopted the cause and students have been performing random acts of kindness. The community has also renamed a playground at the ballpark in memory of Jaycee.
“I want that little girl to be with us all the time,” Kendall said. “Jaycee was just so loving, caring, and compassionate.”
It’s a touching tribute for a little girl gone too soon.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.