Remembering 2-year-old Jack Podkaminer

This week, family and friends will gather to remember 2-year-old Jack Podkaminer, who died last Thursday after a long illness.

The Jamesville toddler was living with Rabdomyosarcoma, a rare cancer that was found in his neck last April.

He died surrounded by family and loved ones. In his obituary published on, his family writes he will be remembered for "his strength and courage, and the ability to smile, laugh and play even on difficult days." They say he was "so tough and brave."

Jack is described as a "beautiful, sweet, loving and feisty little boy who loved his family and was loved by all who met him."

He loved playing with his big brother, Witt, whether it was in the sandbox, using their iPad, jumping on the trampoline, or riding with their Dad on his tractor. Jack was also a loving big brother, to his new baby sister, Ellis, helping to hold her, burp her, rock her and hold her hand.

As recently as last December, Jack was going through very aggressive chemotherapy treatments, when the Baldwinsville Bees and Liverpool Warriors Varsity Hockey Teams met on the ice to raise money for him through Maureen's Hope, an organization that helps young children and their families cope with cancer diagnoses, and other life-changing illnesses.

Jack's family will receive family and friends from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday afternoon at Eaton-Tubbs Fayetteville Chapel on East Genesee Street in the Village, and Monday evening from 6 to 8 p.m.

There will be a funeral Mass Tuesday morning at 10 at Holy Cross Church on East Genesee Street in DeWitt.

Jack would have celebrated his third birthday next Tuesday, February 18th.

If you'd like to make a donation, the family says contributions may be sent to the Center For Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders at Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse, or Christopher's Haven in Boston.