Jennifer Lynanne

MMA Mut 0

November 10, 1996 – September 16, 2015

I tried writing something to put on this page, but I kept referring back to Andrew’s eulogy, so thought this was the best way to give an outline of Jennifer’s life. I miss her terribly, she was my partner, my best friend, my soul mate & my whole heart. But I know she is now pain free & disease free & still always by my side! 

Hi my name is Andrew, I’m Jennifer’s cousin and God Father. I’m also the only one she’d let call her Jeffiner. I’d like to thank everyone for being with us today to celebrate Jennifer’s life. I speak for the whole family when I say we really do appreciate it.

​Jennifer Lynanne was born November 10, 1996. As a baby, Jen was very quiet and content. She was somewhat of a reserved baby. When people would baby talk to her and try to get a smile out of her, she’d usually give them a blank look. But whenever it was time to leave she’d be sure to give everyone a kiss. A true test to Jen’s character, because all through her life she’s been quiet and shy, but as she gets to know you she opens up and shows you that she really cares.

Jen began her life in Edmonton. When she was 4, her and Shelley moved to Viking, where they lived on a small acreage. As most of us know, Jen absolutely loved animals and they happened to have quite a few. They had pigs, dogs, cats, horses, donkeys and sheep. She had a favorite sheep named Jackson that acted like a dog. When they’d go to the fence and call for the sheep, Jackson would be the first one to come running. Jen laughed her head off when Jackson got into the house and Shelley had a fight getting him back out.

In 2003 Shelley and Jen moved to Lloydminster, where she started school at Rendel Park. It was there that she had her E.A.’s Mary Hayes and Elga Rogers. Mary and Elga were with Jen the whole way through Rendal and were a blessing for Jen. They brought out Jens funny side. Mary nicknamed her Chuck and it was a great loss for Jen when Mary passed away.

In 2004, through the generosity of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Jen went to Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World. While they were in Orlando, they stayed at Give Kids the World Village. This is where all the Make-A-Wish families stayed and was Jen’s favorite part of the trip. They would bring gifts to the kids daily and Mayor Clayton was Jen’s favorite character. In 2006 Shelley and Jen got to share a trip to Disney Land with Granny, Grandpa and Darren’s family.

Jen began going to Camp Whitney when she was 8. Camp Whitney was the highlight of Jen’s summers. She loved making crafts, sleeping in the cabins with the other kids, sitting around the bonfire and spending time with Granny and Grandpa.

In Grade 4 Jennifer began going to Big Brothers Big Sisters. It was here that she was matched up with her big sister Thecla Cadzow. It was through Big Brother Big Sisters that Jen participated in a horse riding school called Horses and Memories. Jen was good at riding horses and this program was one of her highlights growing up.

After Rendel Park, Jen began middle school at Bishop Lloyd. She was pretty nervous to go to middle school as most kids are, but she was also nervous to have a male teacher for the first time. This is where Ryan Sklapsky came into Jen’s life. They developed a special bond that year, one that would end up lasting the rest of her life. Ryan nominated Jen for Children’s Wish, and Jen ended up receiving a nice home theatre package to make all of us boys green with envy. This is also where Tracy Rideout Brace came into the picture, as Jen’s educational support teacher. Tracy played a very important role with Jen, by not allowing her to give up and always giving her that extra push she needed to accomplish her goals.

After Bishop Lloyd it was off to the Comp. She developed a love for drama class. She loved improv and even had a solo in one of the school productions. I never would have believed it because Jen always came off so shy, but she really shined in class and on stage. She was also able to further her love for animals by choosing to work at the companies Puppy Love and Groomer Has It for her Work Experience class. She loved the animals and even went back after her work placement was done to visit some of her favorite dogs. She found an incredible group of friends at the Comp as well. One of Jen’s best friends, Kelsey Stansfield, took it upon herself to be Jen’s caretaker slash bodyguard, being quick to help with Jen’s wheelchair or question any one that approached Jen with a quick “Hey whatcha doing”. She also met her other best friend Charmaine Eggen. Charmaine said that Jen was the best thing that ever happened to her, and that Jen was her very best friend.

I think this poem gives us a little insight to Jen’s thoughts and what she wanted everyone to know about her.



I’m not the teenager you had in mind.
People think I’m quiet
But once I get to know you
I don’t stop talking.
People think I’m lazy
But I’m always on the move
People think I don’t listen
The truth is I listen to what people tell me to do
Most of the time
People think I’m a good student
The truth is I don’t study
People think I’m younger than I am
I’m 18 years old
I’m not the teenager you had in mind
People think I won’t be able to graduate
But I graduate next month
People think I’m not smart
But I get good grades in school
I’m not the teenager you had in mind

The Comp, Bishop Lloyd and Rendel Park were all such special places for Jen, which could be credited to the staff. All of her teachers and E.A.’s made school her favorite place to be. There were a couple of times that Jen ended up in Edmonton’s ICU on Monday, discharged Thursday, only to insist on going to school Friday. She loved the people and she loved to learn. There are so many people who made Jen’s life great at school and it’s impossible to name you all, but we’re truly thankful to all the members of the LPSD that were there for Jen.

At only 7 months old she was diagnosed with a very rare metabolic disorder. Methylmalonic Acidemia, or easier said MMA. In laymen’s terms, MMA means that Jen was missing the enzyme required to break down proteins. At age 4 she had a stroke, which gave her the mobility issues she had. The odd thing was that the stroke only affected her mobility, not her memory. So she could remember that she could walk and talk, but she had to reteach herself how to do so. Even though her mobility skills didn’t fare so well in the long run, we can’t say the same about her speech… After speech therapy, there was no keeping her quiet. At age 11 Jen was diagnosed with beginning of renal failure. At 18 it was determined that Jen was in stage 5 renal failure. This meant that she would need to start dialysis. In May 2015 she was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. So as you can see Jen had a lot of medical issues, but not many of us knew because she was never one to complain or look for pity.

This past December, Shelley and Jennifer were the recipients of the Goats Christmas Wish, a local charity that helped Shelley and Jen out with all the expenses that come along with having to take time off work and run back and forth to the city for appointments. It was an incredible blessing and couldn’t have gone to a more deserving pair.

The saying “It takes a village to raise a child” seems to ring true when thinking of everyone who played an instrumental role in Jen’s life.

Brooklyn was like Jen’s little sister, who Jen once threatened to sell on eBay.
Robyn was like Jen’s older sister that would torment her all day long till Shelley would want to string them both up. Robyn was also Jen’s godmother and no one could get Jen laughing like Robyn could.

Aunty Mick was like Jen’s second mom and also her godmother. Shelley would send Jen to mick with all of life’s uncomfortable questions.

Aunty Gail was like a girlfriend that had regular meet ups and would go to the fair and watch the grandstand shows. They’d also visit the SPCA regularly to pet the cats or walk the dogs.

Ali was Jen’s god sister, who taught Jen all the curse words us cousins forgot.

Jen had a very special bond with Granny and Grandpa. Jen spent a lot of time at their house growing up and Granny and Grandpa loved it. They would baby sit Jen whenever Shelley needed. Grandpa was Jen’s hero and role model. Grandpa’s influences were very apparent in Jen’s character, from her quick wit, to her never give up attitude. Granny was always there for Jen as well, quick to have Jen’s favorite food ready, supply cuddles when needed, wipe away the odd tear and offer up jokes to when Jen was down. Shelley and Jen could always count on Granny to be there in a moment’s notice, even if it meant Granny getting her first speeding ticket.

This leads us to Shelley and Jen’s relationship. Through the good and the bad, Shelley stood by Jen’s side, with unwavering support and optimism. There really are no words for the connection they had, and those of you that know Shelley and Jen, know what I’m talking about. Jen loved it when Shelley would tell stories. Jen would bring up something that happened earlier that week and Shell would say, “Go ahead, you tell them”. To which Jen would always reply, “no you tell them”. Jen would watch Shell as she told the story, beaming with admiration and smiling ear to ear. She adored her mom and she was her best friend. Jen could always count on Shelley to cheer her up. Whether it was dancing like a fool in the car, or just joking around, I think without Shelley’s unwavering positivity, Jen wouldn’t have lived as long as she did. No matter what Jen needed, Shelley was always there for her. We could all take a lesson from Shelley on how to be a loving parent, because there is no one better to look up to. Shelley was so much more than just Jen’s mom, she was her personal cheerleading, her nurse, her best friend and her rock. Shelley was her everything. Their relationship will be forever unmatched.

Jen is a hard girl to describe. She had somewhat of a twisted sense of humor and a keen whit. Granny and Grandpa would pretend to bicker and fight, and this would get Jen laughing every time. When she was a little younger she took great pleasure in tattling on us cousins when we stepped out of line. I don’t think I’ve seen her laugh harder than when her dog Harley was allowed to have his Thanksgiving Dinner. This was a yearly tradition where we’d tie Harley’s floppy ears back, give him a bib and he was allowed to eat a full dinner table.

Jen was quiet most of the time, but she heard every word spoken. She also had the memory of an elephant. Whether it was the date of an event, or something someone said, Jen had it on the top of her head. She was quick to call any of us on discrepancies in our stories or let us know when our facts didn’t match up. I think she got a bit of this trait from Granny, the only difference being we never doubted Jen when she recalled something, Granny on the other hand… In fact while we were writing this eulogy we kept finding ourselves needing to ask Jen for dates, because she was always the go to person for things like that.
She was strong and determined. No matter how bad she felt in or out of hospital, if a new nurse or person came in and asked how she was doing, she would always reply “fine”. When she got to a set of stairs at school and one of the E.A.’s would offer her a hand, she would ALWAYS turn them down and say, “No I got it”. She never wanted anyone’s pity and wanted to show them that she could do it herself.

She was the furthest thing from a girly girl. I always enjoyed teasing her when her socks didn’t match, and aside from grad, I don’t think you could pay the girl to wear a dress.

The one day she did drop the tom boy act was for her graduation. This was her day and she was queen. She had a huge party the week before with all of her friends and family from far and wide. Shelley, Robyn and Granny worked for weeks creating every Pinterest post ever seen, and cooking enough food to feed a couple of army’s. On graduation day she was picked up in a limo, taken out for supper and then taken to the Exhibition Grounds where she had her handsome escort waiting to take her to the grand march. She was beaming the entire day and looked absolutely beautiful.

The last time Jen was in hospital, she was upset and said Baby William will never get a chance to know her. The Baby William she was talking about is my son, he’s about a month old now, and to an extent she was right. William won’t get a chance to know her personally. But he’s going to know you more than you could imagine, because I promise to teach him everything you’ve taught me. I promise to teach him how to be brave, like you were through all of your treatments. I promise to teach him how to see the brighter side in life. I promise to teach him how to adapt to new challenges. I promise to teach him to never give up. I promise to teach him all about you. I promise that he’ll know you.

Jen had a challenging and difficult life at times, but by no means did her disease define her. She did so much with her time here on earth and carved a place into all of our hearts. I read the posts on Jen’s Facebook and talked to a lot of people about Jen since she passed, and every single person has said that they’ve learnt so much from her. Shelley was once told that Jen was put on this earth to learn from, and I think we can all attest to that today. She is a true inspiration and we’re all better people for knowing her.

Thank you again for being with us today to celebrate the life of my dear and beloved cousin, Jennifer Lynanne

Select Language