Power of prayer: Grain Valley's Jaxon Wyatt relieved to learn his mom is cancer free
There are certain dates that are easily remembered — birthdays, anniversaries and other special events.
For Grain Valley High School running back Jaxon Wyatt and his family, add Nov. 12 to that list.
On that date the senior learned that his mother Kristen was cancer-free, and he and his Eagles teammates celebrated her defeating the disease that night by defeating Raytown 38-37 in a three-overtime thriller that will be remembered and savored for years to come.
A trip to the dentist led to Kristen's cancer diagnosis, as a nodule on her neck became a concern.
That was July 5.
She had surgery to remove the nodule, which was attached to her thyroid gland, on Oct. 10.
Just two days after that, Jaxon was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and the all-conference running back now has to give himself four shots of insulin a day.
But when you enter the Wyatt household, there is no sign of fear, depression or doubt following the recent diagnosis, because of their faith in God and their medical professionals.
Jaxon recently posted a tweet that gives a bit of an insight into his belief in prayer:
Five weeks ago today I asked prayer for my mom for thyroid cancer. More than 12k people responded. Today my mom is cancer free. Praying works. Now let’s win a District Championship. #cancersucks @krist_wyatt
"My family and I believe in the power of prayer," Jaxon, who is also a standout wrestler, said as he and his Eagles teammates prepared for Friday’s Class 5 state quarterfinal game against Fort Osage.
"I just couldn't believe it when my mom told our family about the cancer diagnosis. As a kid, you never want to hear something like that coming from someone you love, especially your mom.
"But she was real positive, and that made me feel positive. That night I said a special prayer, to go along with my normal prayer routine, and I wanted to get others involved in praying for her so I posted that tweet.
"I couldn't believe the response. It was pretty amazing, and I believe it shows the power of prayer and having a positive attitude."
While prayers will continue for Kristen, Jaxon is now in need of some, too, as he learns to deal with his recent diabetes diagnosis. Despite that, he has played in all 11 games for the Eagles and was slated to play Friday’s quarterfinal against Fort Osage for the right to go to the state semifinals. He has rushed for 502 yards and six touchdowns and earned All-Suburban Middle Six first-team honors after gaining 973 yards last season as the Eagles’ workhorse back.
"We're hoping to get him a glucose monitor, which can give us alerts on our phones," Kristen said. "But just like when I was dealing with my issues, we are being positive — and even having some laughs about it."
She said Jaxon takes extra snacks to school every day, to control his blood sugar, so he is an easy target for hungry friends.
"Yeah, guys will come by and ask, 'Can I have a snack?' and I'll tell them, 'Sure, if you want me to die.' Then we laugh, and I give them a snack, because my mom always packs extras."
As his mom listens to her son, she grins and gives him a tug of the arm.
"Prayer is so important, but so is laughter," she said. "I feel like I've been given a new season of life and I want to make the most of it. And I know Jaxon will do great at dealing with his diabetes.
"I tell my friends that we are so blessed, and they may not totally understand."
This time, Jaxon gives his mom a hug and adds, "I couldn't be more blessed. I thank God every day for my family."