Jason Graham grew up in southeast Denver in a family of five children. Jason graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1991. He battled both a brain tumor and kidney disease from the age of 29, Jason was diagnosed with both a pituitary brain tumor and kidney disease. He had successful brain surgery just before his 30th birthday. In Dec 2006, Jason received a kidney transplant donated by his mother Marilyn. The kidney functioned at a minimum over the next four years, causing him to need another. However, a chronic cough caused him to have to wait for the second transplant.
On 10-10-10, Jason Graham received the Inspiration Award from the Invisible Disabilities Association. During the banquet, Jason credited his faith in God, support of his family and friends, and good medical care with keeping him emotionally strong during his many trials.
Shortly after the awards banquet, Jason’s health took a turn for the worse as he developed several very serious complications with his kidneys, as well as a mass and fluid on his brain. He was in and out of the hospital and soon unable to work.
In December, they put a drain in his head because of the swelling and underwent aggressive treatments for what they discovered to be a rare brain cancer. IDA President, Wayne Connell and Executive Board Member, Todd McPherson visited Jason in the hospital.
Jason’s wife, Michelle, began writing articles for IDA to share their family’s struggles with his health, losses and her new role as a wife, mother and caregiver.
Later, Jason had brain surgery to remove the rare, cancerous tumor. He remained unconscious for a couple of weeks. One day, out of the blue, Jason woke up and called his family from his hospital room! This gave everyone hope, as he began to show signs of recovery. Jason was not out of the woods, but was able to communicate with his family.
On Saturday April 2nd, Jason’s nurses wheeled him outside in his bed to enjoy the beautiful spring day and to get some fresh air. That night, he unexpetedly passed away from a sudden, massive brain bleed.
Jason was an amazing son, brother, husband, father and friend to many. He was known for his faith, perseverance, contageous smile, hugs and love for others.
The IDA Team is so grateful for the opportunity to honor Jason and share his inspirational story of courage through his 9 year battle. He will be dearly missed by us all.
2010 Inspiration Award – Jason Graham
Family Faces Unexpected Battles with Illness by Michelle Graham
Becoming a Caregiver by Michelle Graham
Where to Begin: Finding Help During Chronic Illness by Michelle Graham
Dealing with Unsolicited Advice by Michelle Graham
Daniel Graham Foundation (Daniel is Jason’s brother and former Bronco Football Player)
IN MEMORY OF JASON:
IN THE NEWS:
Sad news: Courageous Jason Graham, Daniel’s brother passes away at age 38. – Denver Post April 4, 2011
Great to be a Graham – Denver Post 2007