Local Mom Turns Tragedy Into Triumph

Most moms will tell you that in order to survive, you have to be a multi-tasker on overload. Such is the case of Kathy Jo Jackowski.

She's made a living out of controlled chaos. And considering what her and her family have been through, it's amazing that she has time for anything else.

For this moment, things are peaceful at the Jackowski house. Kathy Jo is having a little mother-daughter time with Abi-Rhea. Moments like these don't come around often. Abi-Rhea has an immune deficiency disorder and has to undergo six hour treatments at Shands. Kathy Jo herself suffers from chronic back pain and then just a few months ago, her husband Steve was diagnosed with cancer. Yet somehow, she refuses to throw in the towel.

"I can't do that. I would have given up already. I'm too hard headed. I'm stubborn, I'll never give up."

Her personal struggles make her one of the most self-less human beings you'll ever know.

When she's not caring for her daughter, her husband, or herself, she's caring for everyone else.

In her spare time, or whatever that is, Kathy Jo makes cakes for kids who's family can't afford to make them one. What started as a hobby, has turned into a full blown charity. Whether something as small as an Easter egg or as elaborate as a Halloween ensemble, Kathy Jo will design anything you can think of. She doesn't want your money, but she does want you to smile.

"I get emails saying I'm more excited about the cake than the whole party itself and that means a lot because that makes it extra special."

The idea began in 2007 when the family suffered yet another set back when Kathy Jo had a miscarriage. Their son was to be named Austin and the cake baking has become a therapeutic way for Kathy Jo to deal with all that life has thrown at her.

"I wasn't able to make him a birthday cake."

"It helps to know I'm making somebody happy. It's a dedication to him. It makes me feel good and it kinda helps the hurt."

A basic cake costs around 15 bucks. Much of the ingredients are home made, including the eggs, hatched from the chickens in her backyard. Not only will she make you the cake, she'll personally deliver it to your party, again, free of charge.

"I could care less if I get anything from it. I just like doing it."

For more information on how you can help Kathy Jo, log on to http://www.cakesforkidstallahassee.webs.com/ or call 850-591-6750.

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  • by Joy Location: Texas on Apr 14, 2010 at 05:06 PM
    Kathy Jo, you are my favorite sis-in-law and always will be! I will never be able to show you or tell you how much your strength has meant to this family and what you mean to all of us. Thank you for being there for Steve and Abi, you are truly the glue holding your family together, and we love you so much for it!
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