On Jake’s 66th Birthday

January 20, 2021

Anyone who spent any time at Kennedy Brothers PT – Christmas in the City HQ – at Franklin Street would be familiar with the poems that Jake would, on occasion, post on the whiteboard. The topic might be politics, maybe sports. Sometimes the poem was about Christmas in the City, or another cause that was close to Jake’s heart.  Jake’s poetry was pure Jake: heartfelt, wise, funny. His form was a long string of couplets; the rhymes often tortured. What they often did was invite us all to become part of something greater than ourselves.

Today, on the occasion of Jake’s 66th birthday, we thought we’d share Jake’s final work of art, posted shortly after he was diagnosed with ALS.

We want everybody to donate
Because the cause is so great!
We have a chance to cure the unjust and evil ALS scourge
So don’t be afraid to dig deep into your wallets and splurge
Even if you want to part with one frickin cent
Everything helps one penny would make a dent
But our goal is a hefty one million
So we wouldn’t stop you if you wanted to donate one trillion
The research is on the verge, all studies have been optimistic
And a cure in the coming years is extremely realistic
Dr. Robert Brown is a saint. He is just like Mother Teresa
He is the only person on earth to straighten out the Leaning Tower of Pisa
He is on the forefront of ALS research and treatment
Bob is on the verge of a cure, on a basis that is frequent
He is obsessed even though he has no family members in the game
He will be unanimously elected into the Cooperstown ALS Hall of Fame
He started at Mass General but moved to UMass Medical Center
The best thing about Dr. Brown, he now exists as my son’s mentor
My son Zak has his family at stake. He lost his grandfather and his Uncle Jim
Now his Uncle Ratt and his father are ALS afflicted, but he is not grim
He is bounding with energy, he knows research is at its peak
Research has never never been on such a winning streak
Dr. Brown is in unison with all of the labs, all around the globe
They consider every angle, each and every possibility, each and every microbe
He has taken each and every patient down to their very last breath
Now is the time to reverse the trend, it is time to take ALS to its death
So each and everyone, contribute to the Jake Kennedy ALS fund
On a negative note, one you donate you won’t be eligible for a refund
But on a positive note, what happened to my family may appear outrageous
Relax, Kennedy Brothers patients. Take a breather. ALS is not one bit contagious.

In this poem, Jake asked for donations to the Jake Kennedy ALS Fund at UMass Medical Center. And we know that Jake wouldn’t mind if donations were made to Christmas in the City.

For a quick update on CITC: although we weren’t able to host our usual party, we were able to bring some comfort and joy – gifts and a holiday meal – to hundreds of families living in area shelters. And although we weren’t able to run Monday Mania, our big toy extravaganza for families in need, we were able to help make sure that hundreds of families had a happier holiday than they otherwise would have.

Planning will kick off shortly for Christmas in the City 2021. Stay tuned for learning how we’ll be coming back in the post-pandemic world.

But today’s a day to celebrate the life and legacy of an extraordinary man. Happy Birthday, Jake! We love you! And we sure do miss you!


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