Alverson Leaves a Sweet Legacy

Alverson Leaves a Sweet Legacy

Blood drive initiative in Jimmy’s memory

Jimmy Alverson senior high school picture

Jimmy Alverson senior high school picture

James Gibson Alverson IV (Jimmy) lost his 8 1/2-year battle from complications of medulloblastoma brain cancer and AML leukemia on November 20, 2023 but not without tasting crumbs of the final flavors in the Cheesecake Factory cheesecake competition. He was twenty years old. 

A community blood drive is being held in honor of Jimmy On Sunday, June 2 at Rock Spring United Church of Christ in Arlington. His mother, Susan, estimates Jimmy needed more than 400 pints of blood in his journey.

His father, Jim, says Jimmy loved sweets, and it was on Jimmy’s bucket list to try all of the 33 or so flavors of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory “so every 

Jimmy Alverson accepts football that Patrick Mahomes presented to him on the field at Arrowhead Stadium. Attending a game there was on Jimmy’s bucket list. 


month or so we would all get together on Sunday, cut the cheesecake slices into small pieces and try six or seven flavors and then vote. The champion of that round would advance to the next round, kind of like Jeopardy. The grand winner was key lime cheesecake, and we were able to place crumbs of the last cheesecake contestants in Jimmy’s mouth as he lay unconscious at Children’s Hospital shortly before he passed.”

Jim said Jimmy was diagnosed when he was 12-years-old, and from the beginning Jimmy was determined to help manage his own care. Jim explains, “Jimmy was in on every medical conversation, read every consent form, and created his advanced care directive. He was in charge of his treatment, and we were a sounding board.” 

“Jimmy really wanted to help others by his example. He went with others to Congress to advocate for legislation, and he left his body to be used for research.” His dad continues, “It was his way of showing gratitude. Without dozens of blood donations Jimmy would not have been able to go to college. And he would never know who they were. It kept his dream alive.

“Jimmy was very determined to live as normal life as he could even with his significant health challenges. The blood donations allowed him to go to college full time. He would take Ubers to the hospital to get a transfusion of platelets and go back to class.” Jim adds, “Jimmy wanted to do as much as he could.” He lived independently at James Madison University in an apartment with three roommates.

“One time when I was driving him back from the hospital to get treatment, I asked him ‘how do you do it? What is your secret?’”

“Jimmy said, ‘If there is something you can do about it, do it; if not, just accept it.’

“He was enjoying life as much as he could whether something simple like a dessert or more complicated like a trip. He played baseball, soccer and flag football and high school golf and participated in Scouts.”

“I think he got most of these genes from Susan’s side of the family. Susan’s father, his grandfather, was very determined and showed amazing fortitude. He was an Olympic level swimmer. I think Jimmy got a lot of this attitude from him.”

At Jimmy’s celebration of life on Jan. 2, 2024, the room was packed with several hundred people who had known Jimmy in his short life. Tables were loaded with baskets of chips and tiers of sweets. Susan explains, “A couple of episodes of The Office, his favorite TV show, were playing, video montages that Jimmy had created were shown and finally his favorite church coffee hour fruit punch was available for all.”

To sign up for the blood drive: https:/  or call 866-256-6372 code 8166.