Fort Worth, TX
When Jessica Gardner Sandoval was born on September 21, 1977 to Lee and Libby Gardner, she was born to lead, to inspire, and in short, to change the world. In fact, just one week ago, she posted a Facebook selfie of her and her husband, Mick, also a school principal, and captioned it: "After a long day of principaling it to change the world, my awesome hubby spent 3 hours helping at our annual monster mash dance." She and Mick collectively gave nothing less than their very best, changing the world one child at a time as they committed to serving a generation of future leaders. However, her most important priority was to be a loving wife to Mick Sandoval as they raised their three beautiful children: their daughter Riley (13), son Reece (10), and daughter Zoe (6). As she juggled the responsibilities of parenthood, she proudly served as principal of David E. Smith Elementary School, and led countless students and teachers to believe in themselves. Her genuine passion for living life to the fullest continues to inspire everyone who had the privilege to know her. Exactly three years ago, Jessica encountered devastating news when she was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumor in her pancreas. Jessica was never one to spotlight the medical side of things, but instead she highlighted the Healer, and especially spoke lovingly about all of the people who showed tender care and love towards her after her diagnosis. Just recently, she recalled on Facebook, how a hospital custodian peeked behind the curtain after she received the news that there were blood clots in her lungs, her legs, and a mass on her pancreas. When she reached out to Jessica, the custodian prayed for her and gave her a beautiful necklace of prayer beads. Jessica clung to that necklace and to prayer every day after that, and became intentional about her moments with her family. Jessica confessed that while she had a disease that she had to learn how to manage and control, it would not and could not ever destroy her. She knew once she surrendered control to Jesus, that He would go to battle ahead of her. Despite her incredible fight, the disease overwhelmed her precious body before any of us had a chance to say goodbye. Jessica went home to Jesus on November 5, 2016. Jessica had dreams of her three children attending college (especially A&M, where she was a part of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of '00), and worked above and beyond to ensure they had the ability to reach their goals and pursue their dreams. At a time when most parents of young children are working, saving, and planning their childrens' futures, the Sandovals redirected those plans by doing everything medically recommended for Jessica. Over the past three years, the sheer volume of medical needs, tests, hospital stays, and doctor visits became enormous, and the amount of medical bills continues to grow. While most of you know that Jessica and her family would never ask for relief from medical costs, we are asking for them. As loving friends of Jessica, we hope that you prayerfully consider donating to Jessica's precious family and alleviate the costs of medical bills, transitional costs, and living expenses. May the love, light, and hope that Jessica gave to all of us, also be given to her children and husband as they face the coming days without their mother, their best friend, their sister, their daughter.....our Jessica.