As parents get older and they reach their golden years, they hope their children are kind enough to take care of them in their time of need. No parent wants to see their children take on the parental role earlier than they should.
When Quai Jefferson was only 6 years old, his mother Vaida Jefferson was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a painful autoimmune disease. By the time Quai was 10 years old, he was cooking, cleaning and running the household. The nurses taught him to check his mother’s blood pressure and how to inject her with Copaxone, a drug to ease the effects of MS.
“He has taken on a parent’s responsibility,” said Regina Kay, a close family friend. “It’s like a role reversal. He’s doing everything his mother would do for him, and he doesn’t give it a second thought. It’s their normal.“
Since Vaida was first diagnosed, friends have come and gone but Quai has been a constant in her life.
“She’s truly my heart, my rock and my stone,” Quai said. “She’s all I have.”
After hearing Quai and Vaida Jefferson’s story, the Yankees were inspired to celebrate their final day of HOPE Week with them. Players such as Mark Teixeira, Yangervis Solarte, Brian McCann, Kelly Johnson, Dellin Betances, Jose Ramirez, Brendan Ryan, CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka and Saint Joseph Regional High School alum John Flaherty will plan a surprise barbecue in the courtyard of the school, where Quai recently graduated from.
Quai is slated to attend the University of Delaware this summer and will major in business administration with an emphasis on accounting and marketing and he’ll play football in the fall.