Our New Year’s joy is tinged with sadness. We lost a beloved member of the OneLife LA family. J.J. Hanson, speaker at our second OneLife LA, who shared his courageous fight against brain cancer and assisted suicide, passed away on December 30th at the age of 36.
J.J.’s motto was “You Can’t Hurt Steel.” Three years ago, he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and given just four months to live. He battled depression and struggled to find meaning in the face of this suffering. Many in his position would have considered assisted suicide. But, J.J. discovered the value of his one life. He chose to spend his time speaking valiantly around the country about the need for good healthcare and the dangerous false hope that suicide poses for patients like him. He spent precious time with his wife Kristen and his son James. His son Lucas was born in 2016.
J.J.’s zest for life has never been better exhibited than his final Christmas celebration surrounded by family, graciously welcoming visitors, sending a friend to buy flowers for his wife, living each moment with love.
Entering this New Year, we miss our friend. But we also celebrate the gift of his life. We celebrate as he did that every day of life is a blessing that cannot be taken for granted. Each of us is made for greater things. We are so grateful to J.J. for teaching us this.
At Christmas, we celebrated a world filled with expectant hope at the birth of a baby. A lifetime full of potential, whom shepherds guard and angels sing. As children, we couldn’t wait to open presents, to light the tree, to see the joy that Christmas brings.
And now, the new year is filled with hope.
In this year to come, babies will be born. Slaves will be rescued and set free. Waiting children will find their forever families. Children and grandchildren will visit their grandparents and fill their days with joy and laughter. Gang members will find new jobs full of promise. Families will be welcomed into new homes.
Let’s make our resolution to live like J.J. in this new year. Let’s resolve to serve others as he did, to love as he did, and to realize that each of us is truly made for greater.
Please consider supporting his family during this difficult season at www.youcaring.com/canthurtsteel.