“Our story started at seven days old with long nights and days,” said Patsy Garza. Those seven first days of life belong to her niece, Jazzalyn, who was born with a disorder called Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID). Seven remains an important number in the Garza family, as Jazzalyn now requires only seven medications — a remarkable decrease from her original protocol. Jazzalyn’s journey, though full of treacherous ups and downs in the first few chapters, has just begun, and the future looks bright.
Now two years old, Jazzalyn’s vibrant personality pushes through the rocky soil of recovery and blossoms, bringing great joy to those around her. Jazzalyn loves to play with her cash register — scanning groceries and placing them in her shopping cart — just like His Grace Foundation volunteers scanned groceries and necessities for Jazzalyn and her family during their time on the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit. Jazzalyn mimics singing, dances with her whole heart, and pretends to be a mommy to her baby doll. Much like a mommy, she diligently packs a bag before going out, ensuring that Eli—her pacifier attached to a plush elephant—and her “teta” (bottle) have found their place. When it’s time to relax, Jazzalyn navigates an iPad to find YouTube Kids.
“If there is one thing Jazzalyn has taught us through this journey,” Patsy said, “it’s that — no matter how dark the light is at the end of the tunnel — there is hope.”
When the Garza family first heard of Jazzalyn’s diagnosis, their finances were tight. The thought of having to stay in another city in order to access medical treatment scared them. They had to learn the Houston bus and metro system, how to drive around Houston, and how to locate hotels that were near enough to Texas Children’s Hospital. The personal and logistical stressors piled high on top of the incredible stress of Jazzalyn’s diagnosis.
“We lost ourselves,” Patsy says. “We were very sad.”
But now, looking back, the Garza family sees themselves as blessed. “We are grateful for the many friends, family members, and medical staff that reached out to us. We now consider them our family. And we had His Grace Foundation, who never let us feel like we didn’t have what we needed. They always thought of us.”
Patsy says that His Grace Foundation helped the Garza family feel at home even in the sterile, clinical environment of the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit. Mandisa’s song Overcomer felt like home to the Garzas as well. They played the inspiring tune for Jazzalyn during frightening trips to the Intensive Care Unit.
“Overcomer is dedicated to Jazzalyn because she never stopped the fight,” says Patsy. “She overcame it all and still does to this day.”
Jazzalyn has made it a considerable distance, but the road to recovery still stretches out in front of her. Jazzalyn travels from her hometown in Laredo to see her doctors in Houston once a month. A therapist comes to her house to help her with delayed speech. Jazzalyn doesn’t walk alone just yet. But she continues to press on — determined to reach the next goal set before her.
“We never lose hope. We never lose faith,” says Patsy. “The journey is not over. We have a long road ahead. But now we are a bit wiser; we know what it takes to continue to make Jazzalyn strive and be healthy. Jazzalyn continues to cross boundaries and overcome obstacles with the strong warrior fight she has within her. Miss Jazza is our amazing little miracle still happening.”