Men in Action for Jake

February 27, 2015

Empowerment, Uncategorized

Act as if everything depended on you, trust as if everything depended on God.”   by St. Ignatius of Loyola

Jake Peters is a junior at Loyola High School, Los Angeles, a Jesuit, all boys, college preparatory school embedded in the teachings of St. Ignatius.  I do not know Jake or his family, but my son is one of his many classmates praying for him. He needs support in all areas of his life.  I hope you are called in your heart to join me in being an answer to one of the many prayers for him.

Jake is a gifted baseball, student-athlete, and his difficult journey began on December 15, 2014 after he returned home from practice and had trouble breathing.  Within hours of being taken to the emergency room, Jake’s condition became critical; he became immobile from the neck down.   Later, the doctors diagnosed Jake with a rare autoimmune disease, Neuromyelities Optica, that affects the spinal cord and optic nerves.  Jake is on a respirator.

The Loyola community is rich in spirit of charity and volunteerism.  The motto is “AMDG”, a latin acronym meaning “for the greater glory of God.”  Other slogans on campus include “man up,” “men in action” or “be a man for others.”  All these slogans permeate the halls of Loyola High School, in addition to the thousands of private households of teachers, alumni, students and their families.  It is why we send our young boys to Loyola.  It is what makes Loyola different from the pack of schools in the greater Los Angeles area.

There are always a few people who step forward like the world depended on them.  Leave it to my friend, Lori Vogelsang Demarest, to do so.  She told me, “everyone wanted to do something in the greater Loyola community, but no one knew what to do.”   Lori and her friend, Sandi Barrett, listened to God in their hearts.  They said “yes” to helping and are leading  a collaborative, community-wide effort of “men in action for Jake” as if he and his family depended on them, and they do.  Most importantly, Jake’s world depends on those of us who are called to answer a prayer in our hearts to help.

AMDG - Help Jake

AMDG – Help Jake

As part of “men in action for Jake,” Lori and Sandi are selling beautiful blessing bracelets on campus for $28 with 50% of the proceeds going to support Jake’s mounting medical bills. In addition, they will be selling “Jake Strong #6” t-shirts and are planning a walk-a-thon.

IMG_7390In the future, there will be a raffle for a diamond cub-paw pendant (Loyola’s athletic logo) which has been graciously donated by a Pasadena-based jeweler.  The owner, my friend, who has a daughter at a sister school, reached out to me with the gracious offer because she heard about Jake’s challenging journey.  She simply wants to help in her quiet, humble way.

This story resonates with many of us who have high school aged student-athletes.  While I watched my son, Sean, play lacrosse the other night, I could not help but pray and think of  Jake and his mother.  No doubt he played baseball with the same gusto as my son playing lacrosse.  The heavy difference is the key word –  played; the past tense of it is heart-breaking.

Jake’s rehabilitation will be very expensive, possibly $1,000 per day due to all the therapies he will require.   He will need to learn how to walk again, God willing, among other basic life skills.   Insurance stops at day 100 which is on May 1st,  just before Mother’s Day.  I have heard many times that “many hands make the work load light;” many hands will lighten the load for the Peters’ Family.  Collaboratively we can answer God’s call to help them.

Please click on the link below if you would like to help.  No gift is too large or too small.  Any gift of love, healing and financial support will be a blessing:  Please share with your friends.

My heart is calling me to help.  I invite you to listen to yours too.  In the meantime please remember:

St. Ignatius pray for Jake.

St. Ignatius pray for us all!

Life is a miracle; the journey’s a prayer.


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Mary Ann L. Smith

About Mary Ann L. Smith

Called to shine the great light on the living beauty of faith through prayer

View all posts by Mary Ann L. Smith

One Response to “Men in Action for Jake”

  1. Elita Says:

    Thank you Mary Ann for sharing and reaching out to us.


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