About a year ago, I posted about my friend, Jake Rogers. Jake had cystic fibrosis and had just received a bilateral lung transplant and for the first time in a long time he could breath. A year later, and after a brave and courageous battle with rejection and infection, I am sorry to say that Jake passed away.
Jake was a huge inspiration in my life. He was encouraging and funny and wonderful. I am honored to have called him a friend. A few months after his transplant I was lucky enough to go with him on his first hike with his new lungs. We hiked the 5-mile trail out to Otter Falls. We talked about our lives, our loves, my writing, his art, and had a blast as a pair of inquisitive chipmunks crawled all over us. We talked about doing it more. It was a fantastic day, and it is a memory I hold dear.
I’m going to miss you, Jake. The world is a lesser place without you. Thank you for teaching me the value of a breath.