WHY I WALK: Remembering “Captain Jim”
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Jim Jadul (back row, center) with his family. His daughter Jacquelyn is in the center of the front row.
Jim Jadul (back row, center) with his family. His daughter Jacquelyn is in the center of the front row.

WHY I WALK: Remembering “Captain Jim”

Posted on September 5, 2023 by Shaun Neville

When it comes to the Walk for Hospice, Jacquelyn Overberg of Danvers knows the route well. She started walking over a decade ago, when she was with Copyright Clearance Center (one of the biggest teams on Walk Day). Jacquelyn later organized walk registrations for the Danvers High School Soccer team, when her son was in the program. This fall, it will be a little different when she steps off from the starting line. She’ll be walking in memory of her father, Jim Jadul.

“He was a ‘tell it like it is’ kind of guy. But he was also the first one who would jump out and do anything for anybody,” recalls Jacquelyn. “So many people who knew him called him their mentor. I think that's a great way to describe it because he would just take in whoever needed help and guide them along the way.”

Jacquelyn has named her Walk team “Captain Jim’s Crew”, in honor of her dad. Originally from Ipswich, Jim was a lifelong boater who enlisted in the U.S. Naval Submarine School right after high school. After nine years, Jim continued his military career in the Coast Guard Reserve, serving for over three decades. He traveled the world aboard boats and submarines from Central America to Europe. He married his wife Joanne in 1964 and they spent 58 years together. The couple has three children and seven grandchildren.

Jacquelyn says her dad was someone who never really got sick, until several years ago, when he was diagnosed with MDS, a form of blood cancer. Weekly blood transfusions at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, on top of other treatments, kept him going. But in Spring 2023, Jim’s health declined further.

“It was Easter. And it was really a beautiful day where the whole family could get together, which doesn’t happen too often. I don’t know how he did it, but he seemed to rally for the day. After most of the family went home though, it started to look like he was failing.”

Jim was taken to the hospital, where doctors recommended ending the transfusions and calling for hospice. It was something the family had been talking about for a while and based on years of supporting the mission at Care Dimensions, Jacquelyn knew exactly who she wanted to care for her father. He was transferred to the Care Dimensions Hospice House in Lincoln for what ended up being his final nine days.

“What an unbelievable place. Just going up the driveway, you feel you’re at some lake lodge and it is the most beautiful spot.

“The volunteers and the staff could not have been any more helpful. We couldn't say enough about how well they took care of him. But even more so, how well they took care of us. We had just spent over a week bedside at the hospital and now here we were in this nature setting. We had a patio to get fresh air and listen to the birds. Everyone in our family could come and visit and we knew everything we needed was taken care of.”

Jacquelyn knows this year’s Walk for Hospice will be more emotional than her past journeys. But the special meaning of the day will have her smiling in celebration of her father’s life.

“It's going to be super emotional for sure. But having been there over the years, I know how energizing the day can be. You see so many people from the community, a lot of student groups, and people that are walking for their loved ones. It’s such a happy and supportive atmosphere. I’m looking forward to it.”

Make a donation to the Captain Jim’s Crew walk team by clicking here.

Register for this year’s Walk for Hospice here.

 

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