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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Christmas Present to my Baby Brother!

I have decided to write my brother a letter and post it here on his website as my Christmas present to him!!

Justin the time that you have been gone has been going by so fast! But I think I can speak for everyone when I say the pain in our hearts feels the same. I have no idea what happen or why you were taken from us. Lots of people keep telling me that this was your destiny, to save people from this disease! But I still don't get it. Nor will I ever until the day I come home and meet you in Heaven. There are about a million songs on the road that remind me of you and make me think of you. I have to admit I think about you just about 10 - 15 hours a day, now keep in mind I sleep for 8 hours. You have come to see me in my dreams 2 times so far. One of the times you were about 8 and you just sat by my side, didn't say much. It was almost like you were trying to tell me something but I wasn't listening to you. I cry so easily now! It use to take a lot for me to cry but anything makes me shed a tear! Cruz and Allen miss you soo much. They have no idea why this happened the way it did. They really just don't get it at all! You would be soo proud of Kristiana well I should say I know you are b/c I believe you are with us ever day! She started crawling yesterday! I love you so much. I know you love me too even though we didn't say it all the time nor show it. Every year for the past 5 yrs I have gotten you name for Christmas. And just about every time you either wanted a CD or a hoody! It is very hard for me to go into the stores that remind me of you. I went into PacSun in CA and I had to walk out I couldn't stand it! When you were in the hospital I bought you a Big Black hat from there and TJ had him sign it that night for you! Tony wore it the other day I really wish I could have given it to you! Every time I see a boy your age around me I just want to grab him and hug him!!! Sometimes I sit and listen to the way people talk to each other and the little stupid things people get mad about and I just want to tell them my story and how much I would LOVE to nit pick and argue with you right now but I can't! I just really wanted to write and tell you how much I love you and how much work we are doing down here to help save other families from going through this. Tomorrow morning will be different b/c for the past 17 yrs I got to watch you get almost double the presents I did! LOL I know there will be lots of tears tonight and tomorrow but I know you are here with me and I will NEVER forget you and always love you! I smile and talk to you all the time I hope you can see and hear me!
I love you with my great big heart Justin the bee!
Love you big sister!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


We have pretty much finalized our T shirt designs! If you would like to start order them please send an email to in the subject line just put T Shirts. Let me know the size you would like along with Short or Long Sleeve and how many. right now it is looking like the short sleeve T Shirts will be $9 and the long sleeve will be $13 please add $1.50 for all XXL or above. If I need to ship these items to you please give me your mailing address and I will calculate postage and let you know what it will be. You can make checks out to
Justin E Rodgers Foundation and send them to
11695 Castle Ranch Rd
DeSoto MO 63020
ORR you can pay through our Donate button on this website. Send me an email with the sizes and long or short sleeve and pay via the "Donate" button.
These shirts may take about 3 to 4 weeks to get printed and delivered to you. I will place our first order Dec 12. I have to have your check before I can place the order.
They will be light Grey color. The long and short sleeve will have the same design. Our logo on the front and on the back it will say "Not just your average infectious disease..." With angel wings over the shoulder blades. I will post pictures after our first set of orders go through Dec 12.

Thank you to everyone!!!!

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Justin's news article in the West Magazine

This was taken from

Rockwood student dies rapidly from little-known disease
By Diane Plattner

In April, Eureka High School student Justin Rodgers began to complain of a severe sore throat and was dead approximately one month later from an unfamiliar disease. Now, his mother hopes to spread awareness about the deadly disease.
Justin died in the early morning hours of May 12, the day after Mother’s Day, after losing a battle with Lemierre’s Syndrome, a serious bacteria that is not well-known and even doctors are prone to misdiagnose the disease. Unfortunately, Rodgers’ doctor was among that group after initially diagnosing him with strep throat on April 11, said Sheryl Rodgers, Justin’s mother.
“Justin had said, ‘Mom, this is the worst sore throat I’ve ever had in my life,’” Rodgers said.
She said that Justin’s doctor took no throat culture and gave her son medicine for strep throat. She said her son’s condition worsened over the next few days during which he had increased high fever, chest pain and a lump in his neck. On April 14, Rodgers took her son to St. Anthony’s Hospital, which transported him overnight to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital where he underwent extensive testing, including X-rays and blood work, Rodgers said.
Rodgers said that hospital officials diagnosed him with Lemierre’s Syndrome, a bacteria that can surface after mouth trauma. Last July, Justin was in a car accident that resulted in mouth injuries that required him to get major dental work, including a recent new tooth. In addition, Justin had suffered a broken nose just before the onset of his sore throat, his mother said.
“I wonder if all this woke up the bacteria, which was already living in the body,” Rodgers said.
The last time Rodgers saw him fully awake was a few days later, when hospital officials decided to place her son on a respirator and sedate him with drugs.
“He was out of it but still with us then,” Rodgers said. “He would frown when the doctors worked on him. So he had some responses.”
However, Justin’s lungs kept collapsing, prompting hospital doctors by April 25 to place him on an ECMO machine to help rest his lungs and heart. Doctors at that point also put him into an induced coma, Rodgers said.
“At that point there was no response from Justin,” Rodgers said. “Still, I talked to him and rubbed his sore spots to let him know we were there.”
By Mother’s Day, Justin was leaking too much blood, prompting doctors to decide to remove him from the ECMO, a move they said was risky if his lungs were not healed enough.
“Once they took him off the ECMO, Justin’s face was getting gray,” Rodgers said. “He was holding his own for a few hours, but then he starting going downhill.”
Justin died early the next morning following Mother’s Day with his immediate family, including three older siblings, by his side, Rodgers said.
“He was our baby,” Rodgers said. “I think the hospital tried to keep him going so he did not die on Mother’s Day.”
The tragedy is not the first for the Rodgers family. They also lost a 4-year-old child in a horseback riding accident and had a stillborn child many years ago, Rodgers said.
“I thought God could not possibly do this to us again,” Rodgers said. “I asked why again, why us. But there is no answer. Here we are walking on egg shells again.”
Rodgers said she was at least thankful that Justin’s funeral was so big that people were standing outside, a huge tribute to his life. She also hopes to honor his life with a campaign to help spread awareness about Lemierre’s Syndrome, which she said often hits people between the ages of 14 and 25. It is not spread by kissing but instead lives in the body, she said. Her goal is to make people, including doctors, more aware of its symptoms so they are not mistaken for strep throat.
“I do not want Justin to have died in vain,” Rodgers said. “This is one bad bacteria. It is very serious. People should not treat it lightly.”
To learn more about Lemierre’s Syndrome, visit the Rodgers’ family Web site at