A North Texas teen who fought a brave battle against cancer was honored in the city of Grapevine.
Jaydan Thompson was always considered a fighter throughout his battle. His spirit was honored in a big way on Thursday. His body placed in a horse-drawn carriage and was taken down the streets of historic downtown Grapevine, where his grandfather is the mayor.
Jaydan is remembered as a warrior. In his 18 years, he felt the pain of a lifetime, lived the life of a man and believed in miracles up to the moment bone cancer took him from all that he loved.
Those who showed up to say goodbye learned Jaydan's character was formed early in school.
“Quiet as he was, he was the one who would always sit with and care for the lonely, the displaced, the outcast, the one on the edge of the social ring,” said his father, Chad Thompson.
Jaydan played football until his cancer was discovered in 2014. He became the school mascot, Buster the Panther. His family says he discovered a new magic in his life. He also worked as a mascot at Chuck e Cheese’s and won an audition at Disneyland.
"There was something about wearing the suit that freed Jayden to be something more than himself,” Chad said.
Jaydan was a senior at Colleyville Heritage High School. Many students and friends were among the overflow crowd. The mayor of Grapevine for 40 years was also there. On Thursday, he was just Grandfather.
"I would have spent all I have to make him well,” said his grandfather, Mayor William D. Tate. “I would have given my officer, my honor and my reputation — anything. But I couldn't change the course of the advancing disease."
It was a hero's goodbye for a young man who in the depth of his pain worried only of saving the hearts of those who love him, cried for him and now rejoice in the life they shared with him.
"Jaydan was a true warrior,” Tate said. “A young man raised up from among the people who for one bright moment was a Camelot among those who knew him."