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Cancer patient gets last wish to see new 'Black Panther' movie

19-year-old Jaylon Hamilton had his dream come true to see "Wakanda Forever" before he died in November.

CREVE COEUR, Mo. — At Evelyn's House in Creve Coeur, they put some good in saying goodbye.

On a recent Friday, a van full of care packages arrived at Evelyn's.

Evelyn's House is an 18,000-square-foot ranch-style house in Creve Coeur owned and operated by BJC Hospice. Evelyn's House offers hospice care to terminally ill patients of all ages, according to the BJC Hospice website.

"We provided just huge gift baskets of treats, "Black Panther" memorabilia and anything else that's Marvel-related," Tom Wiley said.

Wiley is the Executive Director of The December 5th Fund, which provides support for patients going through cancer treatment.

And the gifts delivered that day went to a patient who doesn't have the gift of time. 

According to his sister, 19-year-old Jaylon Hamilton is one of those people who notices everything but prefers not to be noticed.

"Once he gets the feel of a person or he gets to know you, he'll open up like a book," said Jatavia Davis.

That shyness might be because he lost both his parents when he was very young, and his sister helped raise him. 

In January 2021, Hamilton was diagnosed with a rare type of nerve cell cancer.

"Jaylon had a very large tumor by the time he was diagnosed and a very painful tumor," said Washington University Oncologist Dr. Angela Hirbe.

After dozens of tests, it was determined that chemotherapy and radiation were not an option.

"Everything that we were doing for him was trying to prolong his life for as long as we could and to try to maintain as good of a quality of life as we could," Hirbe said.

Jaylon didn't talk much at their appointments but when he did, he mentioned to Hirbe how much he enjoyed superhero movies.

"He likes stuff like that," said his sister, Jatavia.

And because he really wanted to see Marvel's new Black Panther blockbuster, Hirbe put out an all-call on Facebook hoping to reach the folks at Marvel Studios.

"I'm not the biggest fan of social media, but this was one instance when I feel like something good came from social media," Hirbe said. 

There is no cure for Jaylon's cancer, but for two hours and forty-one minutes, there was.

A representative from Marvel flew to St. Louis with a copy of "Wakanda Forever," the latest installment in Marvel Studios' "Black Panther" movie series.

And instead of popcorn, the December 5th Fund supplied smoothies, including Jaylon's favorites. "He picked the Pumpkin Delight and the Orange Extreme," Wiley said with a smile.

With terminal cancer, some count the days, but Hirbe and her team were determined to make the days count.

"A lot of my patients have big families and lots of family and friends. They always have people around taking care of him," she said. " I just, I think that he and his sister had to work really hard in life. They have each other, but I wanted him to feel like he had a village behind him."

Hirbe and that village took a moment and turned it into a memory. And memories, after all, are how legacies stay alive, even after death. 

"I'm just grateful that, that this could happen for him," Hirbe said.

Jaylon Hamilton died peacefully a short time later on Nov. 18.

If you would like to help pay for the funeral expenses for Jaylon Hamilton, click here.

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