MIDDLETOWN, NJ: On Sunday, June 9th, at a Frances Foundation event, our Finest and our Bravest, laced their skates, put on their gloves, and took to the ice at Ice World in Middletown playing an exciting hockey game to benefit kids fighting cancer.
This game between the State PBA and State FMBA teams was played in honor and memory of Jake the Tank Honig, a 7 year old honorary Howell police officer, who lost his battle to brain cancer last year, and to benefit the Frances Foundation For Kids Fighting Cancer and the # be like jake team.
An excerpt from Jake's website: "Jake made everyone smile, no matter what kind of day they were having. He had an ‘old soul’ and was important to him to follow the rules and always do the right thing. His sweet, charming personality paired with his courage, strength and bravery, captured the hearts of everyone around him. The entire community of Howell, NJ rallied around Jake and fed off his positive attitude. No matter what was thrown Jake’s way, he always had a smile on his face, and would live by the motto “Focus on the Good Stuff”. Jake became an honorary Howell, Police Officer, which prompted all 84 Howell Police men and women to attend his funeral, along with honor guard, watching over his casket for the entire two day viewing."
The Frances Foundation's mission is a focused, devoted commitment to bring smiles to kids fighting cancer. The Foundation strives to alleviate a child’s pain and suffering with a special gift, a special gesture, or even a few special moments. The Foundation also provides financial assistance to impoverished families desperately needing help due to their child’s fight again cancer. The Foundation seeks to give compassionately to children and families dealing with extremely difficult physical and emotional challenges. In addition to direct aid to a child or family, The Foundation also supports research aimed to terminate childhood cancers. Helping kids is the passion of the Frances Foundation. That passion was in full force at Sunday's event.
Before the game began, the national anthem was beautifully sung by pediatric cancer warrior McKenzy Hupke.
After a moment of silence for all pediatric cancer warriors and angels, Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso presented NJ State Assembly recognition certificates to the teams and compassionately spoke of the courage and legacy of JAKE THE TANK. Jake’s sister Gianna dropped the ceremonial 1st puck.
Between the 1st and 2nd periods, all attending honored Lt. Sandra Lynch, the 1st Aberdeen FD female officer in its 101 year history. FF Jr. Trustee Gianni Honig also presented Frances Foundation gifts of smiles & assistance to pediatric cancer warrior 7 y/o Miguel and his 4 siblings and mom. Miguel was just diagnosed with a tumor on or near his optic nerve.
Between the 2nd and 3rd periods, the crowd, especially all of the kids, had a blast throwing their pucks from the stands onto the ice in the CHUCK A PUCK contest---closest to center ice wins. A new FF supporter won both the chuck the puck & the 50/50.
The sharp shooting PBA team was victorious; but the determined hard fighting FMBA team is already looking forward to the rematch.
Jake’s family and supporters beamed with pride at the game. Warrior Miguel and so many children never stopped smiling at the game. 1st responders giving back to children battling cancer is very special.
It was a very special game giving tribute to a very special boy.
At 2 years old (2012) Jake was diagnosed with a high grade glioma brain tumor. He underwent a 7 hour brain surgery, 14 rounds of chemotherapy and 28 rounds of radiation, over a 1 year period at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Jake was in remission until a routine MRI scan in April of 2017 (7 years old) showed the brain tumor had returned. Jake underwent a 5 hour brain surgery, 6 rounds of chemotherapy and additional 33 rounds of radiation. He spent his summer at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
During treatment for this relapse, a routine scan was done November 2017 and it showed disease returned to same area of brain as previously, plus the cancer was spreading to other areas of the brain. Jake now had a tumor on his cerebellum and other tumors were beginning to form.
December 2017 an MRI was done after Jake was complaining of pain near his back. We found the cancer has spread all down his spine and a tumor was at his lower back. This was causing him to have difficulty walking, and even standing.
At this point Jake’s cancer was considered uncontrollable, and he was released from the hospital with no options to treat disease. It was at this moment we were told, Jake is going to die. He remained in his home, under the care of his parents Mike & Janet, and local hospice. Jake passed away peacefully, in his bed on January 21st, 2018, just 6 weeks before his 8th birthday.
Jake’s story has not ended with his passing, in fact it has just begun. Progress can be followed at Facebook.com/JakeHonig1 #belikejake