John’s Story

We’re all busy preparing to celebrate a birthday on December 25th – the most important birthday of all. But we’d like to tell you about another birthday we celebrated this year that we think is pretty special too.

John K. wasn’t expected to survive at birth, much less to walk, talk or have any kind of full life. But on March 24th John turned 40, so we all gathered to celebrate that milestone in style!

John grumbled when the staff told him he had to go to exercise, but when he got to the community center, what a surprise! There were decorations, a special cake, music, dancing and of course the staff and all his friends from Jacob’s Village, including his best friend Don. John’s mom passed away in 2008 but his dad David has since remarried, so John’s family now includes stepmom Holly and her daughter Michelle. David and Holly were there, along with Michelle who came all the way from Minnesota to join the fun. But perhaps the biggest surprise was a visit from John’s favorite cartoon character. Having a life-sized SpongeBob (aka John’s caregiver Sandy) come to his party was a very special treat, and it made John’s day even more exciting.

John suffers from a severe form of myotonic dystonia, and required multiple operations – the number is in the double digits – in early adulthood to allow him to walk. Initially, his parents were unsure about the surgeries, but when John told his dad he “had a lot of living to do” the decision was made. And John has surely made good on that promise!

Bingo and Bible study are two of his favorite Jacob’s Village activities, and his version of “Take Me Home, Country Road” is a staple on resident karaoke nights. John enjoys being out and about; a treasured memory is the overnight trip to St. Louis that he took with Don and other friends from the Village. Sports though, are John’s real passion. He likes to throw a football around, has participated in Special Olympics, and especially enjoys bowling; he calls to tell his dad whenever he gets a strike. But it’s his verbatim recall of the play-by-plays of games that he has watched or listened to that astonishes everyone who meets him. It’s an amazing gift for a man who doctors thought would never be able to speak.

We believe that our community is a gift too, to John and to all our residents who call Jacob’s Village home. At this joyful and generous season of the year, will you please add to this gift with a contribution of your own? Your donation of any amount is so important to our residents and the families who love them. We appreciate your support and strive to be good stewards of the monies you send. Jacob’s Village is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. You may send your gift in the enclosed remittance envelope, or donate online at Wishing you the many blessings of this holiday season.

On behalf of those we serve,

Michele Current

Executive Director

P.S. Please send your Annual Fund gift today to help the residents of Jacob’s Village, who “have a lot of living to do!”

John recovering from surgery in 2014

John & his best friend Don at the Otters game

John and JV caregiver Cassie