Justin James Lansing Rae-Thornton
8/5/1992 - 9/15/16
Justin was an incredible young man who was taken from us too soon. He was always the life of the party, he was the one who made everyone feel included and loved. Even on his hardest days he always had that infectious smile on his face. One of the most positive and optimistic human beings even in the face of tragedy, he is truly inspiring. Our Superman.
August 5, 1992 - Where it all began
Justin was born in Alma, Michigan at the Gratiot Community Hospital to Kimber Rae and Michael Thornton where he lived for 2 1/2 years before moving to the Portland, OR area. He attended Concord Elementary in Milwaukie, OR, Sunrise Middle School and Clackamas High School in Clackamas, OR until mid junior year when he transferred to Woodland High School in Woodland, WA where he graduated. When Justin was younger he aspired to be an astronaut with a fascination for NASA, he also loved playing musical instruments such as the guitar, piano, and clarinet. From the beginning he loved all sports and was athletically inclined.
After high school Justin moved to Shelton, WA where he went to college, worked as a bail bondsman for his dad alongside his brother, made lifelong friends, and where he started working for Fred Meyer. A few months before his diagnosis he transferred to a college and Fred Meyer in Vancouver, WA where his family lives. He started building his life here, got a girlfriend and was making plans for his future.. Until everything changed. After multiple trips to ER's and urgent cares he was finally told he had masses in his abdomen that could be cancerous. Justin was 22 when he received this news, after a hospital admission and lots of tests we found out he had cancer, a very rare form of cancer with only 6 more months to live. Thanks to the guidance of doctors actively researching DSRCT, a mixture of chemotherapy treatments, and a debulking surgery he survived 1 year and 6 months. Tripling his life expectancy.
Justin's family meant everything to him, he took his job as an older brother and role model very seriously. He loved to work out and spent a large majority of his time at the gym. If he wasn't at the gym he was most likely playing Xbox with his brothers and best friends. JT loved being surrounded by people and was known for being the center of attention, his laugh was contagious and he always knew just what to say. His team was the Philadelphia Eagles and he never missed a game! He was a hard worker who never complained, passionate and driven. He had so many goals and aspirations. He truly was Superman.
The JT Foundation was founded by Savannah Burke, Justin's girlfriend and the board consists of his family and loved ones. We are all very passionate about this cause as we all have lived through it and have seen what it can do first hand. JT got us all involved in the DSRCT community, and we stayed in contact with others and families who were going through the same thing. When he passed a few of those people reached out and requested a blog be started to share what we went through, to carry on Justin's story. It's no easy task to put into words what cancer can do, 6 months after his passing the first and only blog post was published. That one blog post has been viewed over 1,000 times in 7 different countries, the response was overwhelming. Justin inspired everyone he met and his story continues to do so, he may not physically be here but his name will continue to make a difference.