At 19, Joshua Jank entered hospice care on August 20, 2013 because a liver condition destroying his lungs. It’s called Hepatopulmonary Syndrome. Born with Sickle Cell Anemia and Asperger’s, Josh had a small stroke when he was five years old. Since that point, Josh became a ‘frequent flyer’ in the medical world requiring monthly blood transfusions. Because of these transfusions, he lived a full and vibrant life until complications surfaced in July 2012. It was a long year of hospitalizations and declining health. Josh is now a man on a mission. He sees that these last days could be the best days of his life.
While saying goodbye to family and friends at the Ft. Wayne Hospice Home at the end of August (where it looked like Josh was spending his last few days of life), Josh began passing “Red Diamonds” to those he loved and knew and those he was just meeting. His message was simple.
This little gem is red because love matters.
“I’d like to give you this diamond” he would say as he placed a small plastic red diamond into the hands of an old or a new friend. He would cradle their hand in both of his and explain “It’s red because I love you. Love matters. We need to love in a way that makes a difference. It’s a diamond because God does amazing things under heat and pressure. He does His best work when life is the hardest. Don’t forget that, OK?”
This little gem is a Diamond because God does amazing things under heat and pressure.
As of April 25, 2014, Josh ended a 30 day hospital stay by returning home to be with his family. His mom (pictured above) says, “Joe has a long way to go. Pain is an issue. Walking is progressing slowly.” Josh’s older brother Sam is currently preparing to leave for the Army so the Jank family is facing multiple goodbyes… Brenda Jank continues, “As we prepare to say goodbye emotions run high. Pray for all our goodbyes, but especially Josh and Sam’s. Sam is moving on with courage & a sense of calling, but it is a goodbye tinged with Eternity in mind & there will not be enough tissues to catch the tears.”
From Jamie Grace: Please continue to keep Josh and his family in your prayers. Though he knows he may not have much time left on Earth, he and his family are touching the lives of people all over through his amazing outlook on life. For updates on his story and the Red Diamonds, visit his Facebook page.