Jayce Ray Sheffield is the donor featured in this picture. He was a twelve year old sixth grade student in the Wewoka Middle School, in Wewoka, Oklahoma. Jayce always said he was going to be famous one day.
Jayce was active in football, basketball, and baseball. He also loved the sport of rodeo and spent many timeless hours conditioning himself so one day he could follow his dream of riding in the Professional Bull Rider Association in order to become a world champion bull rider. He played the drums in the school band and was a member of the Boy Scout Troop #426. Jayce was the only student to be awarded the Presidential Physical Fitness Award during his fifth grade year. He won this award because of his dedication and determination to fulfill his personal goal. Jayce was also on a committee established to design and develop a skateboard park in Wewoka.
On the evening of April 5, 2006, Jayce offered to help water the cattle on his family's farm north of Wewoka. During the ride home, his 4-wheeler accidently flipped over tragically killing him upon impact. Jayce was medi-flighted by paramedics to a near-by hospital. After confirming Jayce had died from a broken neck, his parents inquired as to whether he could become a donor. The nurse informed the family he could donate his heart valves, corneas and tissue.
Many new opportunities have developed since Jayce's death. One dream he always shared with his parents was that he wanted something in his hometown named after him. Jayce's family fulfilled this dream and on April 3, 2007, what would have been his thirteenth birthday, the Jayce Ray Sheffield Memorial Skate Park was dedicated and opened to the City of Wewoka. Hundreds gathered together in Jayce's memory to eat birthday cake and hot dogs, and witness the first skateboarding tournament. The skate tournament has become an annual event and is held on the first Saturday in April. Several memorial bull riding events have also been held in Jayce's memory.
Jayce's mother, Paige Sheffield, has become a huge advocate for organ, eye, and tissue donation working through LifeShare of Oklahoma and also currently serving on the Organ Donation Education Awareness Program Council. She has traveled the state speaking to nursing groups, civic clubs, and other gatherings spreading the word that life can be fleeting, but it also can continue through organ, eye, and tissue donation. She, along with two staff members of LifeShare of Oklahoma, recently attended the 12th National Donor Family Conference and Workshop in Washington DC. Those attending the conference were also afforded the opportunity to tour the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) headquarters in Richmond, VA.
The strong Christian faith Jayce held has also been comforting to the family. He was baptized in the First Baptist Church of Wewoka at the age of ten. He loved to read in his Cowboy Bible at night and he continuously prayed for his family, friends, and our troops fighting overseas. Jayce's family has found comfort in knowing a part of Jayce still lives on through others.