Legacy of past patient provides Christmas joy to children at hospital

Jarrett’s Joy Cart chair Jennifer Mynear stands with volunteers for Jarrett’s Joy Cart which allows patients at Kentucky Children’s Hospital to shop for and give wrapped presents to their families around Christmas every year. Named after former patient Jarrett Mynear, Jarrett’s Joy Cart has been a tradition for 19 years. Kentucky Children’s Hospital patients were able to shop for presents on Tuesday, December 19, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Rick Childress

Patients at the Kentucky Children’s Hospital got a chance to share in the Christmas cheer this holiday season. 

As a part of the 19th annual Jarrett’s Joy Cart, patients entered a room where they got to pick presents for themselves and for their loved ones from a selection of toys and clothes. 

The gift-giving is done on behalf of Jarrett Mynear, a frequent cancer patient at the hospital, who lost his battle with the disease in 2002 at the age of 13. 

According to his mom, Jennifer Mynear, Jarrett started the Joy Cart at the age of 9.

“He really understood that it was important for patients to know that people really care about them,” said Jennifer, who is also the chair of the Joy Cart. “He also understood how important it was that patients have something to look forward to.”

She said for some patients, the experience of being in the hospital as a child can be especially stressful, so the Joy Cart is especially helpful.

“You’re away from home, scared, you’re in a different environment,” she said. “You’re doing things that are completely out of your nature as a child.”

She said they anticipated 70 families to be served by the Joy Cart this year.

Throughout the year, the Joy Cart visits every single patient in the children’s hospital, Jennifer said. DanceBlue, the popular dance fundraiser for pediatric cancer research, was also started in honor of Jarrett.

Those looking to help out and should donate here.