May 21, 2018 – West Bend, WI – Jace William Burke, after a long and courageous battle with cancer, and its many complications, 4-year-old Jace took his last earthly breath at 3:30 a.m., on May 18th, 2018. He was born on September 20, 2013 to Timothy and Heather (nee Goelz) Burke and was raised in West Bend, WI.
Survived by his parents, Timothy (TJ) and Heather. Little sister, Lydia. Grandparents, Mark and Debbie Goelz, Roger and Julie Burke. Uncle, Eric Goelz. Aunt, Kayla Goelz. Aunt, Ellie Leyton. Aunt, Ashley Burke. Uncle, Jim Vale. Cousins, Landyn and Kalianne Vale. Great grandpa, Howard Fischer. Further Survived by cousins, great aunts and uncles and many, many friends, warriors and loved ones.
Jace was originally diagnosed with Leukemia on Feb 18th, 2016, just 3 weeks after his baby sister was born. From the very first day, Jace fought so bravely. He had many setbacks and many complications and side effects from the brutal treatment for his cancer. His leukemia responded well to treatment, and he was confirmed in remission just 29 days after diagnosis. However, infection almost took his life in March, April and May of 2016. Proving to be stronger than humanly possible, Jace rallied and bounced back in a way that doctors didn’t think was possible.
It was nothing less than a miracle that he survived everything that happened in those few months. But he did, and we were so very thankful! Jace’s leukemia remained in remission.
In September of 2017, it was discovered that Jace had developed Myelodysplastic Syndrome, or “MDS”. Jace’s MDS was therapy induced. That means that the drugs he received to treat his original leukemia caused this new disease. MDS can mutate into AML, another kind of leukemia. Unfortunately, after a failed bone marrow transplant in an attempt to rid him of the MDS, that is what happened to Jace. AML is brutal and very aggressive. To say that we tried everything, would be an understatement. In the end, the AML invaded Jace’s already damaged and very scarred lungs, his lungs that were also damaged by the treatment for his original cancer. He fought so hard, and so bravely, but in the end it was just too much and God called him home.
Jace was a warrior, truly. He never complained, he just rolled with everything that came his way. He fought, until his very last breath, he fought. He was an old soul and so very wise. He had the most amazing golden eyes and the best belly laugh. His last day was joyful, because he made it that way. His death leaves a hole that will never be filled, but his legacy, his fight, will carry on forever. He was, and is so very very loved.
A Celebration of Jace’s life will be held at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at Rotary Park/Pavilion (4100 Highland Rd, Mequon, WI 53092). A gathering will be at Rotary Park/Pavilion from 3:00 pm – 8:30 pm.
The family is asking that donations be made to Jace’s “youcaring page”. They will be carrying on with Jace’s Warriors, and using any money donated to support families that are fighting this same fight. Because that is where it’s needed.
A special thank you to all of Jace’s Warriors. We know that this is a devastating loss to you all as well, and we are so thankful that you loved our boy so much. Thank you, for standing with us and supporting us with prayers and love for the last 2 years.
Another special thank you to the staff of Children’s Hospital, especially the nurses and doctors of West 3 and West 5. The amazing MACC fund nurses. Thank you all for loving our boy so much. Please, do not be strangers.