FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) Jada Love Tracy, 9, of Fort Wayne is living life to the fullest as she battles a disease with a grim outlook.
Friends of Jada Love Tracy celebrated the joy of life on Saturday. For nearly half of her young life, Jada has been in and out of hospitals fighting brainstem glioma. It is a diagnosis one never wants to hear. It's an aggressive cancer, and although, doctors say Jada's life is limited, her spirit is not.
Saturday was a day for pizza, playing games and celebrating an early birthday for a girl who is not expected to see her 10th birthday.
Jada's fight against cancer started when she was in kindergarten. That is when doctors found a tumor, but there was hope at the time. Jada and her family were determined to pull through.
During the fight, they met a 54-year-old cancer patient from Chicago named Tony Hyler.
Hyler was touched by Jada's story, and he felt he needed to do something.
"I knew God was putting me in a place ... to help other people," said Hyler.
Last year, Jada and her family received bad news. The cancer was back with a vengeance and Jada did not have much time.
Hyler, who is the CEO of a food business in Illinois, decided he was going to do whatever he could to make Jada's final days special.
"Every breath we take is a gift from God, and [I've] had a lot of breaths," said Hyler. "She is [only] 9 years old. We are going to enjoy every minute of it."
Hyler and the Tracy family did just that. Saturday, November 6 was Jada's Day, and the city of Fort Wayne was on board.
Her day was complete with a ride in a SWAT team vehicle, a firetruck and an early birthday part at Chuck E. Cheese and Science Central.
No matter what the future looked like, it was a time for living in the moment.
"No matter how long we live, we only have today, and you've got to just love the people you're with and not worry about tomorrow or yesterday," said Hyler.
Jada's mother, Sara Tracy, held back tears as she talked about her daughter.
"She's hanging in there ... She makes us laugh and smile everyday," said Tracy.
29,000 days, give or take, is how long we are all expected to live. For a little girl in the modest house on Reed Street in Fort Wayne, it is much less, but the days will be full of life and Jada's love.
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