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Mason

Mason

2/25/02 – 6/19/12

Mason (‘little man’) always enjoyed life to the fullest, a lesson he taught to the many people he touched during his short life.

Mason was diagnosed with Juvenile Dermatomyositis, a form of Juvenile Myositis (JM), in August of 2003 when he was 17 months old.  He struggled with the disease most of his life and spent more than half of his life bound to a wheelchair. 

Mason was the youngest of four children, with a big sister and two big brothers who will always love him dearly.  Mason loved to eat Snow Cones, learn about sharks and tell jokes with his brothers and sister.  Mason lived life to the fullest -- once he even swam with dolphins.  His love of life touched all who met him. 

Due to his JDM, over the years, Mason endured countless surgeries and infections and severe calcium started invading his little body.  He spent much of his young life in the hospital.  In 2009, he developed pneumonia and was in the hospital for 7 months straight, 2 months of that in the Intensive Care Unit.  It was a miracle he survived, but his will, determination and positive attitude kept him going.

Mason at 3Mason continued to struggle with the disease but began to get stronger thanks to a new doctor.  But the calcium continued to invade his body, not only under his skin, but his organs as well.  His kidneys, lungs, heart, bladder and pretty much everything else were affected by the calcium.

Mason fought a very courageous, brave battle with JDM, but lost his fight on June 19, 2012. 

Since then, Mason’s parents and family have vowed to continue to raise money and awareness for this horrible disease in hopes that a cure will be found so no other child will have to suffer like Mason. 

Damon and his family have raised several hundred thousand dollars to benefit Cure JM.  Damon founded and manages the annual Cure Kids Jam and Festival in Hillsboro, Oregon. Currently in its 6th year, this annual concert is one of Cure JM’s major fundraising events. The concert features musical talent from across the nation and an array of fun activities for kids and teens.  The Smedley family has also been recognized as Cure JM Heroes for their relentless efforts to spread awareness of juvenile myositis and raise funds for research.

Two years ago, Cure JM established a special award in memory of Mason Smedley, called The Mason’s Miracle Award. Mason was, and continues to be, an inspiration to everyone. Mason showed great courage and strength in his battle with JM; and despite his challenges, he had an amazing sense of humor; and his charm instantly won over everyone he met.
He was, and will always be, a true hero and has made a difference in countless lives. This award is now given annually to someone who carries on the spirit of Mason, and demonstrates the unfaltering courage, optimism and perseverance that Mason showed us all.

Mason’s spirit and love of life will always be an inspiration to so many.  "Mason had a vibrant, positive personality," his father says. "Regardless of the battles he faced, there was always a smile on his face."

Red Balloon Event Photos