A young man’s memory inspires a “gift of life”
“Love the life you live.”
Jonathan Ward Jaros wore that phrase as a tattoo. It also infused his spirit.
Now, that spirit has inspired his family to dedicate an upcoming Cape Cod Healthcare blood drive in his memory.
“My son was killed last year on April 26, two days before his 21st birthday. We want to keep his memory alive,” said his mom, Paula Glynn-Jaros. How appropriate that blood is known as “the gift of life.”
Jon had recently moved from Plymouth to Roswell, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta, to pursue his dream of a music career, when he died in a car accident.
“He was just starting to spread his wings,” said his mom.
The Jonathan Ward Jaros Blood Drive will be held on May 10 at the family’s business, Glynn Electric at 11 Resnick Road in Plymouth. The drive will benefit Cape Cod Healthcare, and will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
“He was such a huge spirit,” Paula said. “That’s what is inspiring our decision to host and sponsor the upcoming blood drive.”
Following his death, Jon’s family began to hear story after story from friends and neighbors about all the kind and generous acts he performed quietly “behind the scenes,” she said.
“We were so touched to realize that he had made quite an impact in his community.”
Samantha Abate, a friend at Cape Cod Community College (“4Cs”), where he was known as “Byrd,” wrote that Jon was a “son, brother, cousin, nephew, friend and a glowing light in the lives of all who crossed his path.”
“A visit to Jon’s Twitter account brings you on a trip of higher thinking, and gives you an idea of the way his mind worked,” she wrote.
One his tweets reads, “Life’s too short to hold grudges or hate in our hearts. Live the life you love. Embrace everything because anything can be taken.”
Others who knew Jonathan agreed he was an extraordinary young man.
“I grew up in the same neighborhood as Jon and knew him for a good portion of my life,” said Shannon Paul, who graduated from 4Cs in 2014. “Jon touched so many lives. It doesn’t matter if you knew him your whole life or only met him for a minute, his smile and genuinely kind heart left an imprint in your heart for the rest of your life. He is someone that I will never forget.”
“Jon was a hardworking, inspirational man. He loved life and saw everything as beautiful,” said Halie Grobleski, a 4Cs student who worked with Jon in the marketing program. “He cared for everyone around him, which was obvious through his words and actions. He was an all-around awesome, happy and influential person who will be forever missed.”
One of the most enduring memories of Jon was his reaction to bullies at high school, recalled his mom. “He wasn’t one to sit by and watch someone being picked on. He thought nothing about going over to a bully, or even a group of them, and tell them to leave someone alone.”
Jon also began a fundraising campaign for the American Cancer Society’s Lights of Hope program in honor of his grandmother. “He raised nearly $3,000,” said Paula.
“He saw people hurting and went to them and did something nice for them,” said his uncle, Mike Glynn.
“So many people have messaged me and told me how he helped them through difficult times when they first moved here,” Matt Jaros, one of Jon’s two brothers, said.
The May 10 blood drive will take place in Cape Cod Healthcare’s new bloodmobile.
“Our families and employees will be donating, and we are promoting the event throughout the community,” said Paul, who long has donated blood every two months.
Every pint of blood donated to Cape Cod Healthcare remains in the community helping to save the lives of friends, family and neighbors.
“We need about 8,000 pints a year to support our hospitals,” said Cape Cod Healthcare’s Jonathan DeCoste, who recruits sponsors like Glynn Electric.
One pint of blood can save three lives, of which Jonathan would undoubtedly have approved.