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Jennifer Young

In memory of Xavier Cole Young

My youngest child, Xavier, was shot in the head at age 14. Me and my kids are not the same, and understanding we never will be. Xavier was the youngest of my four kids. He was an athlete, loved to dance and to help others. We found out at his funeral just how much he was helping, which made me that much more proud of him: He donated seven organs, saved five lives.

It’s year six, and I remember that call like it is happening over and over again. We didn’t get to hear his voice. We always wondered: Did he hear us telling him we loved him while he was brain-dead, on life support only to preserve his organs? My kids have had it hard, nightmares and anxiety and watching their mom slowly lose her sense of being.

We love Xavier always and wish everyone would love their families because life is precious. Unless you go through something like this you really don’t understand the level of pain we go through — it’s physical, mental and emotional. I got to sit with my son on life support and talk to him for four days — many don’t get that.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.