Melissa Byrd, President
As a graduate of a Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy, I spent 6 years caring for others and helping them to overcome their injuries and limitations. I am a mother of two beautiful children, one girl and one boy. I have a wonderful husband who is my best friend, a brilliant engineer, and an amazing father. We both have great careers and were living the American dream; we were building a legacy for our children. That all changed on December 8th, 2007.
Our son, Jensen Daniel Byrd, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma at the young age of two. Jensen lost his battle to cancer after three grueling years of treatment at the age of 5. Our lives were forever changed.
As most bereaved parents, we struggled with a way to keep his memory alive and to continue to build a legacy for him. We started the JHG Foundation in order to share Jensen’s passion to always give before he received. He always put others before himself and he was always looking for ways to help the other cancer heroes even at his young age. His sister Jayden spends countless hours creating and selling amazing artwork to generate funds for local families. She has developed an overwhelming sense of giving and I will always thank Jensen for that.
I now have focused my career in personal training to help those that are motivated to help themselves and on my charity work and advocacy of Childhood Cancer. My husband refocused his goals to include keeping others safe and protected as a police officer. Our American dream has changed, we will forever treasure the 5 short years we had with our son and can only hope that we can provide a little hope and assistance to others walking in the shoes we wore so long ago.