Teen's courage was 'superhuman'

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Teen's courage was 'superhuman'

Post by Port hockey1 » Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:39 pm

By Allan Benner, The Tribune
Tuesday, March 15, 2016 5:29:17 EDT PM

The strength that Dalton Jacques had shown throughout his battle with cancer exceeded mortal limits, said Rev. Jim Mulligan.

“For a 15-year-old, his courage and bravery were superhuman,” he said.

The pastor from St. Kevin church attributed Dalton’s strength to his faith.

“His patience was remarkable — a clear sign of the presence of the spirit in his young life,” Mulligan said.

Hundreds of people filled the Roman Catholic parish on Niagara Street to capacity Tuesday, mourning the loss of the much-loved Welland teenager who died Friday, nearly two years after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer.

“He really did fight the good fight. He finished the course and he kept the faith,” Mulligan said.

Dalton was “not created to die of cancer at 15 years of age,” Mulligan said during the eulogy.

“Dalton was created to do the chunk of work that God gave him to do at his birth. There was a special Dalton Jacques project that needed to be done. A large part of the Dalton Jacques project was to love and to be loved. He was created to make us all better lovers, that was Dalton’s vocation, and he was faithful to it right up to his last breath.”

Members of Dalton’s Welland Tigers hockey team dressed in their white jerseys and formed an honour guard for him while dozens of players from other Welland Minor Hockey teams lined the sidewalks of Main Street Bridge as the funeral procession passed.

Many of the congregation wore yellow bands on their left arms during the funeral mass — the colour Dalton chose a month earlier when the bridge was lit up in a show of support for his family.

Mulligan told the congregation that they gathered to give thanks “for the too short of time” they were given with Dalton, for the “amazing team of nurses and doctors” at McMaster Children’s Hospital who cared for him throughout his illness, for the “extraordinary support” from the Welland community, and the encouragement “from the brotherhood made up of (Dalton’s) teammates on the Welland Tigers.”

“Our prayer is to knock on heaven’s door, that God will receive Dalton with divine warmth and with a heavenly smile as massive as Dalton’s everyday human smile,” he said.

Mulligan lightened the mood among the mourners while asking for forgiveness for any of Dalton’s faults.

“I don’t know they were, but he was a hockey player and he was a defenceman at that, how many of those slashing and hooking and crosschecking penalties were simply accidental?” he said.

“And Dalton was a Pittsburgh fan. It could have been worse. He could have been a Montreal fan.

Thank God Dalton was not a Leafs fan,” added Mulligan as the congregation laughed quietly in response.

He said Dalton was a creator, in his own way.

During his sickness, in different situations and needs he had during the past 22 months since he was diagnosed with cancer, “he created for Debbie and Norm, and for Shelby (his older sister), and for so many others, new depths of their love and compassion for him.”

Mulligan said Dalton’s family “had to go deeper and deeper into their own humanity” to understand the nature of what it is to be a mother, father and sister.

“His suffering created in every person who experienced it, new depths of love in their own hearts.

Dalton, we can say, created love in everyone who knew him, and knew of his sickness.”

Dalton was interred at Holy Cross Cemetery following the funeral mass.

His family has asked that donations be made in his memory to Ronald McDonald House Charities Hamilton or Alivia’s Rainbows, a charity that helps the families of children fighting cancer.


Dalton Jacques didn't allow his illness prevent him from helping others

The 15 year old remained active during the final years of his life, working with friends and family to organize activities to help others.

As recently as December, Dalton teamed up with former Olympic boxer Mike Strange to run a toy drive for children at McMaster Children's Hospital in Hamilton, to help make Christmas as enjoyable as possible for children with life-threatening illness.

As a result of Dalton's help, the toy drive brought in nearly five times the donations compared to a year earlier. Many of those donations were collected during an exhibition hockey game at the Welland arena, held Dec. 15.

On Feb. 17, hundreds of people gathered at the Main Street Bridge as it was lit up in yellow to show their support for Dalton and his family. He died on March 11, with his parents at his side.

http://www.wellandtribune.ca/2016/03/15 ... superhuman

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