• Photo by CHRISTY GREEN - Jamie Young, middle, gives back to her community by donating $2,500 to Child Protective Services. Pictured with Young is board president, Stuart Smith, and vice-president, Sue Berry.  

Local woman pays it forward after defeating all odds

A week before Christmas in 2015, Jamie Young was told news that would change her life forever, she had cancer.
Feeling defeated, sad and angry, that her life was being ripped out of her hands Young realized this battle was larger than anything she could ever imagine and she cried out to God.
“I sat on my back porch crying my eyes out, looked straight up to the sky and said, ‘Lord, I’m giving this all to you. Lead me to where you want me to go to get healed.’” she pleaded.
The road to recovery wasn’t an easy one for Young. There were still many obstacles to face and to overcome. 
Her husband worked out of town, her parents were in Dallas for her dad to have surgery, and she had 24 hours to decide where she would go to get treatment after being given the names of three doctors, two at Baylor in Dallas and one in Little Rock, Ark. Her insurance company told her the two in Baylor were not in network, so Young took this as a sign that God was leading her to Arkansas. Dr. Dana Abraham, a surgical oncologist got Young in on Dec. 30. Young then had her first bilateral mastectomy on Feb. 11, 2016, and began six rounds of harsh chemo on March 18. 
“It was the most brutal treatment and experience I had ever been through,” she said. “At one point, I wanted to give up but God said, “remember, I’ve got this and I need you to do your part.”
Young said this moment in her life made her so much closer to Him than she had ever been.
After completing the six rounds of chemo in July, she still had a preventative chemo to complete every three weeks until April 2017. On August 9, 2018, Young had her second bilateral mastectomy and began the healing process. On October 11, 2017, she underwent another surgery for the implants to replace the expanders they put in place during the other surgeries.
“I completed the preventative chemo and I am doing great,” she said.
Young looks at life through a different set of eyes, and realizes that every second of the day is a blessing from God and we as humans are never promised tomorrow.
“I don’t dwell on the past, and I don’t worry about tomorrow,” said Young. “I can honestly say that I wasn’t right with the Lord before being diagnosed, but now if he chooses to call me home to heaven, I know without a doubt where I’m going. He is the reason I am still here with my family. He is the reason I’m still alive. I can’t say why he chose me to stay, but I know if my story brought one person closer to Him then I have done a great thing. My motto now is ‘you only live once,’ because we never know when today is going to be our last.”  
Young was born and raised an Atlanta Rabbit and said she loves her home town.  
Through all her trials and misfortunes, Young takes nothing for granted. In August of 2017, she decided to give back to her community. A community she said that stood in the gap for her through prayers, money donations, meals and visits.
“I reached out to my wonderful friends, Cindi Young and Kristin Thompson to see if they would help me organize a fundraiser for an organization in the community,” said Young. “Together we came up with helping the Cass County CPS organization to provide Christmas for kids that wouldn’t otherwise have one. We also thought about the local people that have in-home based businesses and how we could help get their product out for the community to see. So we named the event Making Christmas Happen for Cass County CPS.”
They reached out to Sue Berry who has been on the CPS board for a few years now and explained to her their intentions.
“She was overwhelmed with joy for our help. Sidney Harrist with Atlanta ISD donates the use of the cafeteria for us to hold the event and we are so thankful for him,” said Young. “This year was the second year to host the event and each year we are working to grow it from the previous year. In 2017 we donated $1,600 and this year we donated $2,500. The vendors are wonderful and work very hard to provide items of all types to sell to the public. The vendors donate an item of their choice to the event and we have a raffle drawing for everyone that purchases a ticket to the event. Tickets to the event are $5. With vendor booth rental and ticket sales, this is where our donation comes from and 100% of our proceeds go directly to Cass County CPS.” 
“To me, she is an angel among us and the board is so very appreciative that through her, our Cass County CPS kids can have a better Christmas,” said Sue Berry, vice-president of the board. 
President, Stuart Smith, feels that even though his and Young’s stories are different, in some ways they are very similar. After the tragic loss of his brother, he feels that he and Young share the same the unspoken debt of gratitude to their community and the yearning to help others in need.
Young said she has been married to her amazing husband, Cody, for seven years and that he has been her rock through all her journeys. She has two children, Bekah Martin and husband Tanner, and Seth Williams and fiancé Hailey Eaves. She also has two beautiful granddaughters, Rory and Whitley.
“My family was my reason for fighting this giant head on with all that I have in me,” Young said. 




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