Just For J Turns Wishes Into Realities


Jacob McCready

The 2018 Homecoming Court surrounds Jacqueline Dyer after she is crowned as an honorary Homecoming Princess. Dyer’s organization namesake, Just for J, was the recipient of $15,000 raised by the Klein Oak community.

Everyone has a bucket list. It could be filled with something like exploring the world or brushing up on some Spanish. While most diligently compose a list hoping one day to conquer their dreams, every day isn’t promised. In Jacqueline Dyer’s case, she has a whole organization committed to helping her and other families battling Charcot Marie Tooth Disease (CMT) in raising awareness and achieving dreams that were once deemed impossible, possible.

CMT is a rare hereditary disorder that mainly affects motor functions. By her kindergarten year she was placed in a wheelchair. By 2nd grade, Jacqueline couldn’t move almost any part of her body. With no known cure to date, CMT is a very belligerent disease.

“Jacqueline’s CMT progressed so quickly that we didn’t have the time to dwell because before we could get familiar with where she was at, it would progress even more,” Amanda Dyer, Jacqueline’s mom, said. “It was during all of this that we truly began to pray for peace no matter what was to come.”

However, through faith and positivity, the Dyer family cherishes each day whether hanging close to home or travelling cross country, driving over 24 hours to New York City. Along the way to New York, young Jacqueline crossed a few items off her bucket list and even added a few. She toured the White House, ventured to the Hershey Chocolate plant, and saw a Broadway show.

According to Amanda, Jacqueline “loved the lights of Times Square, the hustle and bustle of people, the giant pizza and the genuine kindness shown to her by the New Yorkers.”

This once in a lifetime extravaganza was made into a reality by a 5k run in her honor, which raised over $5000. The race was organized by Amanda Sieg, president of Just for J. Sieg is a former Klein Oak cheerleader.

“As a Klein Oak alumni, it is so special to see the community give back to our organization,” Sieg said. “I have always known KOHS to have a giving spirit and the way you all have supported Just for J has continued to show us that.”

And Klein Oak stepped up again, raising over $15,000 for the foundation, courtesy of the Homecoming Carnival and Student Council. The proceeds will benefit the expansion of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) division at Memorial Hermann in The Woodlands. Student Council also surprised Jacqueline by crowning her “princess” of the Homecoming Court during the halftime festivities.

“It’s a memory that will last a lifetime for Jacqueline and all of Just for J, and I believe she deserves it more than anyone in the world,” Amanda said. “She is a bright light to others, always looking at the positive, and impacting every person she encounters.”

Just for J originated in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and this is the first year it has expanded the Houston. Grateful for the outpour of support Just for J provided, one mother of preemie twins has organized Houston’s very first Just for J 5k Run, increasing the outreach of the organization. The race will be held on April 6, 2019 in The Woodlands.

“In 2017, Just for J had the opportunity to help Gage and Sadie, twin preemies born at Memorial Hermann,” Sieg said. “Every baby is a miracle, but these two defeated all odds and fought so hard to survive their 151 day stay at the hospital.”

While Jacqueline lives out her dreams and explores the world, the Just for J organization continues to expand, having branches already stationed in North Texas, Denver, and now Houston. Just for J started in honor of Jacqueline Dyer and her fight with CMT but giving communities like Klein Oak have allowed other children battling severe medical conditions to receive the support they need.