In Memory of Justin Perkins
(1987 - 2008 )
At the age of 21, my cousin, Justin Perkins, lost his six-year battle with a rare form of cancer that was diagnosed during his junior year at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino. In spite of the difficult medical treatment he had to endure, Justin resumed his studies and played the last three football games of his senior year. You may have seen Justin’s journey chronicled in newspaper articles and newscasts. In 2009, a Justin Perkins Sandlot Award was established to recognize Cupertino students who display kindness and altruism. This award honors Justin and how he quietly made a difference in the way he treated people and served his community. Justin’s story is both inspiring and heart breaking. He was brave, loving, and my friend.
Justin was blessed that he had access to some of the best medical facilities in the country close to the comfort of his home. He received medical care at several local hospitals, including Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto. With his soft spoken manner and enthusiasm for life, Justin easily won the hearts of his doctors and medical staff. He was always surrounded by loving family and friends and a medical community that was an integral part of his support system.
Many young patients with life-threatening illnesses are not as fortunate as Justin. Their families have to travel a long distance so their child can receive the medical care they require. Away from home and familiar surroundings, these families experience additional challenges to an already taxomg situation. Ronald McDonald House at Stanford not only provides a warm living environment for little or no cost to these families, they also offer programs for parents and siblings so that each family member feels supported and cared for.
We are grateful for the opportunity to honor Justin through our support of Ronald McDonald House at Stanford.