After a long grueling battle against Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), Jacob Thomas Seigars, 16, died peacefully at his home on August 8th, 2020. He ascended to his new home in Heaven surrounded by his loving parents and siblings.
Jacob was born May 25, 2004 in Augusta, ME the son of Joseph Seigars Sr and Heather Seigars (Buotte). He grew up in China and Palermo, attended China and Palermo Schools, and finally Erskine Academy.
Prior to his cancer diagnosis, Jacob was an all-star athlete who was especially talented on the basketball court, the soccer field, the baseball field and the track. He started playing sports at the age of three. Jacob was extremely proud of his school soccer team winning the SVAC Championship his 7th and 8th grade years. Jacob was integral to these victories. Jacob was a member of JMG and was the JMG Student President his 8th grade year. Jacob was charismatic with a million-dollar smile. He loved life and people, making friends everywhere he went.
During Jacob’s fight against AML, he identified a need for comfort items and encouragement gifts for teen oncology patients. With active Leukemia he designed and sold a shirt to raise money to buy these gifts for teen cancer patients at Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital and Maine Children’s Cancer Program. Jacob was compassionate for others his whole life and his compassion and love for others only grew as he battled childhood cancer himself.
Jacob cherished his blended family which included Mumma, Heather; Dad, Joe; Bonus Mom, Tasha and Siblings: Shawn (18), Achiva (13), Joe Jr (10) and Isabella (6). Jacob loved watching movies and playing video games with his big brother Shawn. They were lucky to be close in age and played on many sports teams together throughout their childhood. Shawn selflessly donated his bone marrow to Jacob in May 2018 as well as Lymphocytes at a later point. Although Jacob relapsed after transplant, Shawn’s gift gave him more time to live. Jacob loved his “little big sissy” Achiva, they were best friends, always each other’s biggest advocate and protectors. They designed and planned to build an upcycled greenhouse with plans to fill it with cacti and succulents. Achiva will be completing their project in his honor. Jacob loved his “little bro” Joe as his roommate and best friend. They loved playing Super Mario Brothers together, swimming together and building legos. Jacob loved snuggling and spoiling his baby sister Bella. They had an incredible bond; she could do no wrong in his eyes.
Jacob loved animals with special love for his dogs Honey and Livvy and his cat Shade. Jacob loved his high school sweetheart Hannah Huff. Jacob’s best friend since primary school, Brayden Wilson, was the most loyal and genuine friend anyone could ask for, their friendship never wavered staying strong at every point through Jacob’s agonizing AML treatment.
Jacob loved: spending time with his family and friends, playing Pokémon Go for days on end and playing Xbox and switch, shopping, swimming, fishing, camping, biking, tubing, four-wheeling, traveling- especially to Venice Florida, flamingos, succulents and cacti, playing and watching sports, listening to music, playing board games, eating hot wings, he loved going to restaurants especially KFC/Taco Bell and Red Robin. Jacob loved building things and enthusiastically helped his Dad with any carpentry he could. He loved watching The Office, it was a great source of comfort and humor for him throughout his illness. Jacob received his very own “Dundie Award” in Boston after his bone marrow transplant.
Jacob fought Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) from January 16, 2018 until his death August 8, 2020. He relapsed 1/2/19, relapsed again 7/31/19, and relapsed for the final time in 2020. Due to brutal and archaic treatment protocols for childhood cancer and lack of protocols for relapsed AML, Jacob was left with many life limiting side effects including congestive heart failure, chronic lung scarring and infections, scarred veins, neuropathy, balance issues, chronic nausea, pain and fatigue. Even with these unimaginable hardships he smiled every day and lived life to the fullest. Jacob fought his childhood cancer with his family alongside him- trying everything available to cure his disease. He left no stone unturned. Jacob had cancer but cancer did not define him. In 2020 alone, Jacob spent over 60 days inpatient in the hospital, yet he kept smiling and his faith stayed strong.
The family would like to thank Maine Children’s Cancer Program, Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital and Maine Health Hospice for the loving care and treatment they provided Jacob. Jacob’s care team became like a second family for him and all of us. He was a testimony of strength, humility, courage and hope every step of the way. Jacob took comfort in his faith and salvation in Jesus and chose to be baptized on June 16, 2019. Jacob was intelligent, kind-hearted, funny, handsome, compassionate, and a pure joy. To know him was to love him. Childhood cancer robbed him of his future leaving him Forever 16 and a gaping hole in the hearts of our family.
He is survived by his loving parents; his mother, Heather Seigars of China; his father Joe Seigars Sr and bonus mom Nastassja Seigars of Palermo; his brothers Shawn and Joe Jr; his sisters Achiva and Isabella; maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Buotte; paternal grandparents, Daniel Sr and Terry Seigars; grandparents, David and Terese deFlorio; maternal great grandmother, Lynda Bailey; paternal great grandmother, Nancy Seigars and great grandmother, Isabelle Flanagan; aunt Cheryl Criniti and her husband Bernie; uncle Jason Buotte and his wife Sheree; uncle Dan Seigars and wife Sarah; uncle Andrew Seigars; aunt Laura Mcinnis and her husband Josh; aunt Naima deFlorio; 11 first cousins; girlfriend, Hannah Huff; best friend, Brayden Wilson and many other relatives. He was predeceased by his grandfather, James Buotte; great grandfathers: Frank Seigars, Carl Wharton, Thomas Flanagan, David Bailey; and great grandmothers: Barbara Wharton, Sandra Blais and Marion Rhoades.
There will be a viewing on Thursday, August 13th, 2020 from 6pm-8pm at Plummer Funeral Home, 983 Ridge Road, Windsor, ME. Funeral Services will be at Palermo Christian Church Friday, August 14, 2020 at 11 AM. Due to Covid 19, only family will be inside the church. For others, there will be space outside under a tent with FM radio of the service. Jacob’s service will also be livestreamed on Pray for Jacob’s Facebook page. A private burial will follow.
In lieu of flowers, please make your tax-deductible donations in Jacob’s name either to Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, Attn Child Life, 22 Bramhall St, Portland ME 04102 or Maine Children’s Cancer Program, Attn Social Work, 100 Campus Drive, STE 107 Scarborough, ME 04074. Please include #SeigarsStrong on the memo line of your donation. Additional ways to honor Jacob’s life, fight against AML, and his early death are by donating blood products, find a blood drive redcross.org, or registering with Be the Match as a bone marrow donor.
According to the American Cancer Society, “About 11,050 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2020. After accidents, cancer is the second leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 14. About 1,190 children under the age of 15 are expected to die from cancer in 2020.” Only 4% of cancer research funding in the United States goes to childhood cancers. Our fervent hope is that Jacob’s death will bring more awareness of the drastic changes that are needed to save our children’s lives.