Mom and Sister Honor Legacy of Ashland Teen Who Died From Cancer
More than three months after a Massachusetts teenager lost his battle with cancer, his family is committed to keeping his memory alive.
Jake Silver, an 18-year-old from Ashland, passed away in February from osteosarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of bone cancer. His efforts to cross items off his bucket list went viral, and he got to go to Atlanta during Super Bowl LIII, received a call from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, sat in the front row at the Celtics games.
His sister remembers staying with him to watch sporting events.
"If the Celtics or anyone had a game, we'd always stay up and watch them," said Halle Silver.
But Jake's final wish may be the biggest of all.
"He wanted a legacy," said Melissa Duca, Jake's mom. "He wanted to help."
That's exactly what he's doing through his mom and sister.
"He never, for a second, thought that he wouldn't beat it, so he was very positive for his age," said Duca.
Duca says her son wanted to help others going through the same thing he did.
"Jake brought the community together, so we want the community to walk together," said Duca.
It's called "Jake's Team."
"Unfortunately, bad things bring people together, but they bring people together for the greater good," said Duca.
Jake's family is holding a 5K walk at a place he loved — Ashland High School. Money raised will benefit the Jimmy Fund and kids who are fighting cancer.
"I hope we can make a positive impact on many people's lives," said Silver. "A big impact, like Jake made."
And just like he made an impact on others, sports always had an impact on him. Jake saw his beloved Red Sox and Patriots both win championships. A Bruins win would be even sweeter. The last time they won was the year his grandfather passed away.
"So, we're hoping this will be a good year for the Bruins to remember Jake by," said Duca.
In addition to the walk at the high school, Jake's family plans to dedicate a bench right next to the turf where he used to play football. His sister said there could be no better tribute.
"Jake wanted some place where people would be able to go, and I know I will be visiting there quite often because I know Jake will be on there on the bench with me," said Silver.
The 5K and dedication will be held on Saturday, June 22 at 9 a.m. Click here to register.