“When I think of my mom, I think she loved her family first. Well for sure my dad first. They breathed each other’s air, as my sister put it. It was true,” Ardee Jagt recalls. Ardee Jagt’s mother, Edith Jamin, and her husband, Eugene Jamin, were married for 63 years. The couple raised three daughters, Ardee, Michelle, and Debra, in Palm Springs, California. Edith was a dedicated and caring wife, mother and high school teacher who made a profound impact on all who knew her.
Edith was the kind of mother who told her daughters that they could do anything they set their minds to. She was a smart, funny and encouraging parent. Ardee says, “My mom was one of a kind and the best person in the world.” Edith was a nurturing and attentive mom to her young children. As Ardee grew into adulthood, their relationship involved into a close friendship. “Even when I was in my 50s, she would always call me her baby,” Ardee explains.
Though Edith put her role as mother first, she was also an inspiring teacher to her students. She taught high school for many years, and she always found ways to encourage her students to reach for their dreams. Ardee explains, “She was an awesome teacher who was so encouraging to her students. I was fortunate enough to take her to a reunion years ago and listen as many of her students told her how she changed their lives. Many of them wouldn’t have gone to college or moved forward without her encouragement. I was thankful she heard these kind things when she was alive.”
Edith did not have any obvious signs that she had pancreatic cancer. She did experience some seemingly unrelated symptoms, including digestive issues, over the years. At different points in time, she was told she had Epstein-Barre Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. In early 2014, Ardee noticed that her mom had lost a lot of weight. When asked about the weight loss, her mom told Ardee that it was due to medication she was taking. Unfortunately, the family would soon learn the truth about what was actually making Edith ill.
Edith’s Diagnosis Shocks Ardee
Edith was 84 years old when she first learned that she had stage IV pancreatic cancer in August, 2014. She made the decision not to receive any chemotherapy or other treatment. Though her husband and daughters were devastated by her diagnosis, they backed her decision not to attempt chemotherapy. Edith passed away on November 11, 2014, just ten weeks after her original diagnosis. She left behind her husband, and her three daughters, Ardee, Michele Brown and Debra Heller. Sadly, Ardee’s father passed away almost a year later, on November 26, 2015.
Ardee Runs with Purpose
Ardee took up running a number of years ago. She started with 5ks, but soon learned that she loved the half-marathon distance. She began her half-marathon ‘career’ in 2010 when she entered a Rock ‘n’ Roll race. The following year, she ran three half-marathons. A year later, she completed seven. Next, she opted to challenge herself by running nine half-marathons in a year.
Ardee learned about Project Purple while at a race expo. When she learned about the charity’s mission of “Running to Beat Pancreatic Cancer” she immediately signed up to run the Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll half with the Project Purple team. The race will be her 68th lifetime half-marathon. She says, “The main reason I have run so much in the past 19 months was losing my parents. I focused on the running and the plans and that helped me in healing. Running has been very healing for me.”
Ardee works in Real Estate with Cozy Cabins Realty. She enjoys her work tremendously, explaining, “I love finding the correct home for someone to buy and helping homeowners sell their home and achieve those goals. She and her husband Terrence Jagt have been married for 32 years. They live with their English Springer Spaniel in California.
Ardee is running with Project Purple in Denver because she loves the half-marathon distance and because the impact of pancreatic cancer on her life has been tremendous. Running with Project Purple gives her the opportunity to run in a new location while helping other families who have been impacted by the disease. While Ardee is shocked by the extremely low survival rate for people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, she hopes by fundraising for Project Purple she can help change the statistics for the illness going forward.
Please make a tax-deductible donation to Ardee’s Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Project Purple fundraising campaign at the following link: