Everyone we meet is fighting a battle that we don’t know about. You may see smiles on their faces and strength in their voices. But underneath the tough and happy exterior lies a different story―something that deserves everyone’s kindness, support, and understanding.
And in Jyrl Oldham’s case, a sweet surprise as soon as she boarded her plane bound for Hawaii.
That’s because Jyrl finally became cancer-free just this August. Her journey began in March 2021, when she was told by her doctor that she had breast cancer.
Jyrl was pregnant at the time she was diagnosed with cancer. But having a baby on the way only strengthened Jyrl’s resolve to keep fighting and prove that she would not let cancer win.
Jyrl received cancer treatment right away after giving birth to her daughter. It was a hard and exhausting couple of months. According to Valeri Jones, one of Jyrl’s closest friends, Jyrl nearly died during one of her treatments.
Jyrl was thinking about taking a well-deserved vacation. It was her way of telling all the universe that she was still here, and that she wasn’t going anywhere.
Jyrl’s vacation destination? Beautiful Hawaii
And if your wife beats cancer while taking care of your newborn, isn’t it just fitting to throw her a simple surprise to say how proud you are of her and how grateful you are for her? This is what Jyrl’s husband, Garrison, did onboard her Southwest Airlines flight to Hawaii.
Accompanied by Valeri and another friend, Jyrl listened to the captain’s voice on the speaker as he welcomed a ‘special guest’ on their flight.
Instead of the usual welcome message, the pilot started telling everyone about this guest’s battle with late-stage breast cancer and that she’s now cancer-free. After that, he asked everyone for a round of applause for Jyrl.
How did Garrison pull off such a sweet surprise? He emailed Southwest Airlines days before Jyrl’s flight and printed out a letter for the flight attendants. Garrison knew Jyrl would appreciate the gesture as she was a former pilot and would be touched by the announcement onboard.
As expected, his wife was moved by the heartwarming words of compliments and applause from the crew and passengers. Valeri captured the moment and uploaded the video. You can see her getting teary-eyed as Valeri watched and she soaked in the love.
It’s truly a sweet and thoughtful way to support this cancer patient and survivor and an exciting way to kick off their Hawaii vacation!
To some, this shoutout may seem insignificant or trivial. It means the entire world to a cancer patient. According to the World Health Organization in 2020, cancer was the leading cause of death, with around 10 million deaths. Breast cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer.
Cancer can cause severe physical, emotional, as well as mental pain. Also, the medical expenses keep piling up, often with no guarantee you’ll even beat cancer even with all those cancer treatments. A simple act of kindness or a message of support can make a bad day better.
To borrow the captain’s words, it’s pretty special to share a human bond and take care of one another in today’s world. And he’s right―everybody’s just a big family, after all. And if we can make someone’s day better and happier in our own little ways, we should do it right away, no questions asked.
To everyone who’s going through their own cancer battles, may Jyrl’s story inspire you to keep going and beat cancer.
Watch the touching surprise announcement and Jyrl’s heartwarming reaction in the video below, which has been making the rounds on the internet. You should also grab a Kleenex or two!