Jaden loved the color green, music, trains, cars, and wanted to be a firefighter when he grew up. He admired Iron Man and the Avengers, and dreamed of one day becoming a superhero himself. With a jubilation for life, he had the superpower to bring joy into the lives of others.
A young man with a big heart, Jaden wanted things to be done the right way. Whether it was picking up litter or organizing items on a shelf at a store, Jaden believed that whatever he could do would truly make a difference in the world.
On May 15, 2014, Jaden and his family were enjoying the outdoors at Whatcom Falls Park in Bellingham when he slipped and fell about 30 feet down the falls early in the afternoon. Though rescuers were able to pull him from the water and rush to Seattle Children’s Hospital, Jaden passed away two days later.
Jaden was not given the opportunity to be a firefighter, or a superhero-at least not in the traditional sense of the word-but his courage and kindness was felt by the lives he touched in his untimely death. Knowing he would have wanted to help others, Jaden’s family chose to donate, his organs saving the lives of three individuals.
Dustin, Jaden’s father, knew the beneficial impact of donation well. When he was only a teenager his mother passed away, donating her corneas to give sight to two individuals. Knowing the influence their son could have on the lives of others, and the healing the act of donation has, made the decision to give the gift of life much easier.
“We have no doubt that this is what he would have wanted. We believe he was an angel with a mission and he fulfilled that mission when he was returned to God,” said his mother, Mai Chi Griffin.
In Jaden’s honor and his dream to be a firefighter, the staff at his former school invited the local fire department to attend his memorial service. A separate fire department heard about the news and made Jaden a real firefighter helmet to serve as a memento of Jaden, the passion he had to help others at a young age, and the fruition of that dream through his gift of organ donation.