Jarren Truman Sorters was born on September 11, 2000, to Joey and Donna Sorters. From the very beginning of his life, he was active, competitive, driven, full of life, and full of compassion. Jarren had a contagious smile that truly lit up the entire room. As a toddler, the only thing he ever wanted was a ball in his hand and a feat to accomplish. His favorite challenge was to have someone make an obstacle course and set a time limit for him. He could spend hours, perfecting his skills. Once he had that course mastered, he would ask for a more difficult challenge to conquer. His tenacious spirit continued through childhood, into his teen years where he became a leader and encourager both on and off the field.
As a student, Jarren worked hard in the classroom and was driven to succeed in academics. But more importantly, he had the desire to include others and was described by his teachers and peers as respectful and an all out leader. He possessed an innate ability to make everyone feel welcomed and at ease. As an athlete, Jarren never counted his team out and fought until the last second ticked off the clock or the final batter struck out. When the game was on the line, there was no place he would rather be than the free-throw line or on the mound. He had an internal strength and understood that failure can only come from giving less than one's best. As a leader, he had a contagious “let’s get it done” attitude that encouraged and motivated his teammates. He was often described as the smallest on the field/court, but was also known for possessing the biggest heart and the most passion. Jarren had an incomparable gift of taking his internal drive and combining it with compassion to help reach and motivate others on the field, in the classroom and in life.
After being treated for what was believed to be a sports-related injury for more than two months, on August 13, 2015, just one month shy of Jarren's 15th birthday, the doctors delivered the news: YOUR CHILD HAS CANCER. Jarren was diagnosed with Undifferentiated Pleomorphic Sarcoma with CIC DUX 4, one of the rarest and most aggressive Sarcomas identified. From the beginning, the doctors told Jarren his treatment would have to be aggressive because of the nature of his cancer: a primary tumor on his left foot and two metastasized spots behind his knee and on his pelvis. On September 2, Jarren was given news no 15 year old expects to hear and no athlete ever expects to face. We HAVE TO AMPUTATE. Jarren spent that day at multiple appointments at Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH) listening to the doctors explain the necessity of and the reasons for the procedures he needed. At the end of the day, Jarren he was more than ready for the battle. His attitude was," it might look different, but a prosthetic gives me the best chance to battle the cancer and the only chance to ever walk or play sports again." On September 3, Jarren began his aggressive treatment plan which included chemotherapy, radiation on two areas, and on October 15, a below-the-knee amputation.
Over the next six months, Jarren divided his time between Little Rock and Prairie Grove, living life the only way he knew how, giving everything he had every minute of every day. While in Little Rock, he spent his time in treatment at ACH and UAMS Radiation Therapy. When in Prairie Grove, he spent his time getting his prosthetic, attending physical therapy, completing school work and going to as many games and social events as he could.
On December 4th, only six weeks after his amputation, Jarren walked out of Snell Prosthetics ready for the next stage of life. However, on March 30, 2016, Jarren was once again delivered a devastating blow. Despite the aggressive treatment, Jarren's cancer had spread to his lungs and current standardized treatment was no longer working. In April, he began seeking drug trial programs. By June 15, following two failed trials, it became apparent that no other options were available. On August 11, 2016, just two days shy of the one-year diagnosis and one month before his 16th birthday, Jarren passed away at home in his sleep.
Jarren battled cancer with the same determined, tenacious spirit and drive he carried through life. At every turn during diagnosis and treatment, Jarren continued with his "Never give up, Never give in, Never quit" attitude. Jarren's tenacious spirit is the great motivator that drives our family to continue his legacy. He simply would never give in or quit. He never let his diagnosis or amputation define or limit him. Jarren Sorters loved life, and throughout his journey, he proclaimed he wasn’t afraid because he knew his Savior.
"For I consider the sufferings of the present are not worth comparing to the glory to be revealed to us."
Jarren's Favorite Verse during the Battle