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During my visit to Lima, I've had the chance to spend time with Xavier and his wife Johana. They run the bakery together. Xavier had made me this video a while back to share just exactly what JMak meant to him and to the bakery. I wanted to share his heartfelt expression with you.

And if you haven't had a chance to listen to the podcast Jason recorded last year about Lima and the bakery, take some time to listen.

#LiveLikeJMak is more than a phrase, it is a new way of life for me. JMak left me an example to follow. My trip to Lima and the bakery this week is just one way that I am learning to live without limits and to love wholeheartedly those around me.

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One place where JMak’s legacy is alive and well is in Lima, Peru. I flew down for a visit this week and it has been a super special week for me here!

If you have been following our journey, you’ll remember that JMak was in Lima last year helping start a bakery before he was diagnosed. Seeing other people’s dreams come true is what JMak lived (and died) for. I have spent a lot of time at the bakery, Brothers Bakery International, and eaten way too many pastries. It has all been worth it to see the bakery and the people working there thriving.

I will share more in the days ahead. Just wanted you all to see the bakery in action and some of their delicious products!

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It’s been a month since JMak launched, and I can say in the most sincere and beautiful way that “life goes on.”

I feel like I am still gaining my footing in this “new normal” of life on this earth without JMak. Some days I feel more of a flow through the day than others. Some days I really miss Jason and our talks, other days I feel him with me.

The other day was one of those days where I felt JMak with me. I felt God with me. It was another pandemic-normal day of work from my home office, Zoom after Zoom. My work hasn’t changed, but work is different in so many ways now. Maybe most of all because I am now Dr. Laura Makaroff, cancer widow, family physician, and SVP of Prevention and Early Detection at the American Cancer Society.

My professional and personal lives have definitely had a head-on collision this last year. On one of my Zoom calls this week, I got to meet amazing people doing amazing work in cancer prevention all over the country. After I introduced myself, someone shared their experience with #pancreaticcancer with me. Then I heard about someone else’s experience as a new, young-ish, widow. Some people say cancer is a connector. Yes, that’s true. But I would take it one step further and say humanity is a connector. I feel how these experiences connect people in ways we wouldn’t normally get to connect with in deeper ways.

It is what JMak lived for and I can see more and more each day that this is what he “launched” for too. Jason’s journey is connecting people in a way that neither of us could have ever imagined.

Jason loved people. He loved talking to them and learning about them. As I’ve heard from so many people over the past month, it has been evident that JMak had an impact on people. When I have days like I did this past week, where I share our story and it connects people in heartfelt and meaningful ways, I feel Jason close. I feel God close. JMak is still impacting people.

It does mean something to just not be alone. God has given me a really unique opportunity to share our story. It has given me a chance to be real, open and vulnerable that nothing else would have. So many people are going through challenges in life and it gives me purpose to simply share about our experience with God.

Last April when we got the diagnosis, I could have never imagined all the things God would do through it.

JMak is happy when people are touched by God and that makes me happy too.

Signs and traces 💜

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