Reflections

Two Similar Superheroes

By Erin Kramer Good afternoon, my name is Erin Kramer and I have the privilege of being your guest speaker today. I want to welcome you and thank you for being here with us. A favorite phrase in my house is…“Sometimes real superheroes live in the hearts of small children fighting big battles.”  Today, we get to remember a special superhero named June and I get to introduce you to another superhero named Gwen.  To date, my greatest gift in life is being Gwendolyn’s mom. Gwendolyn was born September 23, 2014 and was simply perfect …a darling baby girl with big brown eyes, long eye lashes, and a button nose.  A couple weeks following her birth, she started to demonstrate … Continue reading Two Similar Superheroes


Update To Our Supporters

It’s been a little over a year and a half since our sweet angel June flew back to heaven. We miss her every single day, but we fill the emptiness in our hearts by spreading our love for her to others through the June Jessee Memorial Foundation. Keeping her memory alive allows us to parent her even after death. In June’s obituary, we announced we were forming a foundation in her honor, but it was just an idea we had contemplated, and its mission and goals were undeveloped. Still, the donations poured in. We spent the months following her death meeting with doctors, social workers, therapists, and other families to see how we could best fill the unique void in … Continue reading Update To Our Supporters


Parkway ECC Dedicates New Playground to June

On September 9, 2017, Parkway Early Childhood Center (Parkway ECC) on 14605 Clayton Road opened its new-handicapped accessible playground. We feel honored that the Parkway School District named this playground in June’s memory. June attended Parkway ECC for seven months before she died in February 2016. We treasure the memories of June’s time at school, and we are grateful that she was able to experience such a special place. Matt and I were in awe of the dedicated professionals at Parkway and Special School District. The teachers, aids, therapists, nurses, and administrators were devoted to June’s success and the success of every special needs child. Matt and I often joked that if the healthcare system had run as efficiently as … Continue reading Parkway ECC Dedicates New Playground to June


JJMF in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

On Thursday, July 20, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran an article about June Jessee Memorial Foundation. We hope the article draws attention to the need for an organization like ours in the community.  Thanks to all of our many supporters who allow us to carry on June’s legacy!    


Check Presentation at St. Louis Children’s Hospital

On May 31, June Jessee Memorial Foundation presented a $100,000 check to St. Louis Children’s Hospital to help families with children with neurologic and medically complex conditions like June had. We are amazed and humbled by the amount of money we’ve raised just 16 months since June died, and we look forward to all the Foundation has in store for these children. Our family is so grateful to our many generous sponsors and donors – we couldn’t do all we are doing without their support. It is inspiring to see a community come together in honor of June in support of other brave children. We always knew June was special, but it is truly incredible that one little three-year-old girl … Continue reading Check Presentation at St. Louis Children’s Hospital


Going on Hospice – One Year Later

June went on hospice a year ago on Saturday, January 21, and I’ve been struggling more than I thought I would. This may not come as a surprise to others, but it did to me. I was anticipating her death anniversary as a difficult day, but I wasn’t expecting the hospice anniversary to sting so badly. It makes sense. That is when we realized June’s death was imminent. It’s when the hard part began. For two weeks, we held June as her body began to let go while every instinct in ours was shouting to hold on. In that instance, we learned what it truly meant to put our child’s needs before our own. During most of June’s life, I … Continue reading Going on Hospice – One Year Later


It Is Never A Bad Idea To Make The Referral

June had an undiagnosed neurologic disorder that began, for us, the morning after her birth when she failed the newborn hearing screening at the hospital. Infantile spasms started not long after, eventually numbering in the hundreds to thousands each day. As her issues compounded—cortical visual impairment, developmental delays, nephrotic syndrome, bowels that simply stopped working—we took June to one specialist after another, leaving with more questions than answers as to the underlying cause of her symptoms and with mere temporary solutions. We lived in a constant state of worry and unknowns about her health and future. Desperate to find a cure, we turned to experimental therapies, even moving our family hundreds of miles from home…without success. June’s kidneys failed two … Continue reading It Is Never A Bad Idea To Make The Referral


Caroline’s Cart at Target in Town & Country, Kirkwood and Wentzville

I was shopping at Target in Town & Country today, and I was pleased to see it has two Caroline’s Carts! This is great news for parents of children with limited mobility and head control. I used to have to leave June at home with my husband or get a sitter every time I needed to go to the store for more than a few things simply because June couldn’t sit in a traditional shopping cart. This is part of a rollout of Caroline’s Carts in Target stores nationwide. Kudos to Target for making life a little easier for special needs families. To learn more about Caroline’s Cart and to find a store near you with the carts, visit the website … Continue reading Caroline’s Cart at Target in Town & Country, Kirkwood and Wentzville


Getting Started

When I am introduced to a new parent of a child with similar symptoms as June, I usually start with something along the lines of, “I am so sorry I have to meet you this way, but I am here to support you if you’d like it.” I say that because “it’s nice to meet you,” sounds horribly wrong in our situation. There is nothing nice about being in this group of people with children we will likely outlive. There is nothing pleasant about connecting with someone because your babies are severely disabled, and they likely won’t ever have head control yet alone sit, walk, or even talk. This is not a club you dream of joining, and this isn’t … Continue reading Getting Started


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The June Jessee Memorial Foundation is a component fund of the St. Louis Community Foundation, a 501(c)3 public charity.