In Memory of Jodi Ford

4/6/1979 to 7/23/2009

Thank you to mom and my little sisters for helping me write this story.

(Updated 2023)

Jodi was born April 6, 1979, to Don and Diana Ford. Just so happened, she was born on her big sister Marcy’s birthday. Mom was upset because she thought that Marcy would not be happy to share her birthday. Marcy’s response made Mom very happy. “You gave me a little sister on my birthday. I couldn’t think of a better birthday present!”

She was the youngest of 4 siblings; Gary (that’s me), Marcy, and Lynn. She was raised in Trenton and attended Anderson Elementary School, Monguagon Middle School and Trenton High School. Jodi graduated with the Class of 1997. She attended Western Michigan University for several semesters. She moved back to the east side of the state to raise her children Tristen and Andromeda.

Jodi is my baby sister. When Jodi was in preschool, I went off to college. I really meant it when I said “Baby” sister! Jodi was growing up while I was away getting my degree, starting my career, getting married and starting a family.

What is most sad and frustrating for me personally, just as Jodi and I were just really starting to get to get reacquainted in adulthood with our families, she was taken from me (us). Thankfully, there are many great memories as there were many events at my home with the families – birthday parties, Christmas gatherings, Easter Celebration Dinners, 4th of July picnics with fireworks, etc.

My baby sister was very intelligent, talented, beautiful and creative. She could paint a mural, a canvas or a wall. She could hang, tape, mud and sand drywall like a pro. She did roofing, aluminum siding, concrete design, interior and exterior construction and landscaping. You should have seen her after hauling sod! She’d been a fantastic bartender and/or waitress. She was most proud of her recent career – a phlebotomist.

At the age of 28, Jodi discovered a passion for medicine and earned a phlebotomy certification. She was awarded a retroactive scholarship because she had done so well in the classes and impressed her instructor. She was even offered a job as an instructor. She was most recently employed as a Laboratory Assistant/Phlebotomist at Oakwood Southshore Hospital (now Beaumont) working diligently to provide excellent care for all patients. She was planning to train to be an EMT.

On a more personal note, Jodi and Paul (her one true love) were planning their future, with Paul’s children. They were going to be a terrific family of six. Paul is a wonderful guy who stood by my little sister through this very difficult time in all of our lives.

As with any good mother, Jodi’s first concern when she learned she had incurable cancer was for her children. She worked very hard to ensure her children would be taken care of and raised in a loving environment with Grandma and Grandpa. She was an amazing mother.

Jodi was extremely brave, and her faith was strong.

She believed “why me” was a waste of precious time.

Jodi continued to fight until she reached Stage 5.

Stage 5? You never heard of stage 5 cancer before either?

In Jodi’s words, “Stage 5 is when I’ll be in heaven with Jesus”.