Community lends hand as family confronts girl’s terminal illness
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent October 30, 2012 5:44PM
The Jackson family on vacation in the Smoky Mountains. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media
Checks made payable to Miracle for Miranda can be dropped off at any branch of Chase Bank, or mailed to 569 N. County Line Road, Hobart, IN 46342. More information is at www.facebook.com/pages/Miracle-for-Miranda
Updated: December 1, 2012 4:41PM
SOUTH HAVEN — Pumpkins, mums, hay bales and cornstalks decorate the front yard of the Jackson family’s home for Halloween.
Lots of families have similar signs of the season, but without the same significance.
About a dozen folks from County Line Orchard decorated the home with donated items from the orchard on Thursday after a friend of Rebecca and Art Jackson called to see if the business had some extra items she could use for the Jacksons’ yard.
Instead, the Hobart orchard sent out a crew to do the decorating, creating a cheery scenario at the Jackson home as the family cared for Miranda Jackson, 2, who was terminally ill.
Miranda passed away Tuesday afternoon. Her family had brought her home to keep her comfortable and surround her with the things in life she loved most, including her fraternal twin sister, Madison, and the family’s two dogs.
“There’s no way to describe it, really. The best way I can describe it is, if it was your kid, you would do the same thing,” said Miranda’s dad, Art Jackson.
When she was 4 months old, doctors diagnosed Miranda with acute myeloid leukemia. She underwent chemotherapy and, by December 2010, was in remission, her dad said.
After a family trip to the Smoky Mountains in August — Miranda’s only vacation — she relapsed, and doctors restarted chemotherapy. They found out Madison is a stem cell match, and they were going to do a transplant.
When Miranda came down with a rare fungal infection, doctors talked about rushing her stem cell transplant, but decided Miranda’s already compromised immune system couldn’t handle it.
Medication to stall the infection didn’t work, her father said. “It just kept getting worse,” her father said. “We just decided to bring her home.”
On Oct. 21, the Jackson family brought Miranda home from Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago. The family was touched by the support they’ve received from the community, much of it through a Facebook page set up for Miranda. People have donated money to offset medical expenses and brought food; in addition to the decorations, County Line Orchard also donated cider and doughnuts, said Beth McCarty, Rebecca’s mom, who lives in Hobart but is staying with the family for now.
“I’ve never seen anybody more supported in my life,” she said.
Calls to County Line Orchard were not returned on Tuesday.