Family Overcomes Loss by Giving Back

Categories: Events

Submitted by Kurt Knotts

Parent and Race Coordinator


Jamie’s Run for Connecticut Children’s is held annually in memory of Jamie Knotts (July 2009 – January 2010).

On a Sunday morning in October 2009, my wife Kelly and I looked at our 11-week old daughter, Jamie, and knew we needed to drive to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

What we didn’t know was how our lives would change forever that day. We didn’t hear Dr. Finck’s words after “liver tumor.” We couldn’t comprehend what Dr. Isakoff was saying was in store for us.

We were fortunate that Kelly had taken off a year of teaching to be with Jamie and our 2 ½ year old son Braeden. I was fortunate to work for a compassionate employer, Fuss & O’Neill, who gave me all the time I needed. Not so many families have those luxuries. So we moved into Connecticut Children’s that day with no knowledge of how long we would stay, no knowledge of the world inside those walls.

Over the next three months, Jamie endured chemotherapy, sedation in the PICU, scans, shots, counts, surgeries, and trips to the former 2nd floor oncology clinic. We even traveled to Boston Children’s to begin the liver transplant process. But in the end, even after some hopeful tumor shrinkage, the very rare and aggressive cancer refused the chemotherapy and took over her tiny body.

On a cold January Saturday morning, she earned her wings and was called back to her creator.

Through it all, Kelly and I were continually amazed at the care, concern, and compassion of the staff at Connecticut Children’s. They became our family, and we became theirs. We felt a dual sense of loss when we went home that day: saying goodbye to Jamie and saying goodbye to our new family. It drove us to want to give back, to stay connected, and to keep Jamie’s spirit alive.

It will always be Jamie’s strong little heart that just didn’t want to stop, her twinkling eyes that followed her big brother around the room, and her spirit that lives on in so many people through Jamie’s Run, that will forever mold who Kelly and I are. It’s what drives us to carry on her legacy and work so hard for others fighting cancer.

Kurt, Dana, Braeden & Kelly Knotts at the 2016 Jamie’s Run.

We need your help. You can make a difference.

Join our family for Jamie’s Run on Sunday, November 5, 2017 in support of childhood cancer research and family assistance at Connecticut Children’s.

Come feel the passion and make a difference for a child today!

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