Jamyia James will be singing the national anthem on July 3 at the Independence Day festivities in Anthem.
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Freedom rings and cancer is conquered
Savannah Tidd~ 6/25/2014
ANTHEM – Independence Day is more than just vibrant fireworks and elaborate parades. It is being with loved ones and appreciating a life that is protected by few and taken for granted by many.
Taken for granted except by Jamyia James, 27-year-old mother, who battled Acute Myeloid Leukemia, recently chosen to sing The Star Spangled Banner at the Independence Day celebration in Anthem. She values every moment, no matter how small, ever since she was diagnosed in 2011.
Native to Minnesota, Jamyia, her husband Jahmall, and their son moved to Arizona in 2011, never picturing how their lives would suddenly change. Shortly after their move, Jamyia was diagnosed with cancer. Never did she imagine starting a new life like this.
“I was at home when the phone rang with new results as cancer. I couldn`t believe my ears, I could barely hold the phone, and I needed to start treatment right away,” said Jamyia.
The shock of this news affected her whole family, but what was to come did not get better. Mrs. James was then told she had four weeks to live and that she needed to have a bone marrow transplant as soon as possible.
“I cried harder at the thought of not being here to love, touch, smell, see, laugh or hear my family again,” said Mrs. James.
Miraculously her only brother was a 100 percent match, and she was given a second chance at life in 2012. Even though, she went through an unimaginable challenge that was physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. Her son and husband gave her hope and something to fight for.
“Having a son and husband so patient, understanding, and loving through it all was definitely keeping me afloat,” said Jamyia.
While things seemed to be looking up, the bone marrow transplant had terrible side effects, including not being able to have any more children, and a new obstacle called graft versus host disease where the new donor cells are attacked by the recipient’s body.
This disease infests her eyes, throat, and groin making it difficult to see, eat, and swallow. Despite these complications, Jamyia is staying optimistic and focusing on what really matters in her life, which includes her family and her love of singing.
Since she was three, Jamyia has been hitting the high notes and expressing herself using her voice. She started out singing at her church, and as she got older, started performing at events and weddings.
However, because of her battle with cancer, her singing career and dreams were put aside so that all her energy could be spent on recovering her health. Now that she is gaining strength and overcoming the many challenges life has thrown at her, she is finally able to sing again.
This Fourth of July Jamyia will be singing the National Anthem at the Anthem park festivities. It is just the first step on her road to a better life and career. Her future is looking bright, and with the love and support of her family and friends she can accomplish anything.
“I want to live my life with my family to the fullest as we embark on new beginnings,” said Jamyia.
Remember to cherish those you love, be thankful for the land of the free and all its gifts and opportunities it has to offer. You never know when it could be taken from you. Have a happy and safe Independence Day.