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Annual caroling at Orem Cemetery honors loved ones

By Genelle Pugmire - | Dec 14, 2022

Dominic Valente, Daily Herald

Jaicee Roden sings carols Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, at the Orem Cemetery. Jaicee, a volleyball coach at Mountain View High School, lost her son Jay to trifunctional protein deficiency back in October.

A rare disease known as trifunctional protein deficiency took the life of 9-month-old Jay Roden in October 2016. To help her family and others get through the holidays, Jaicee Roden is holding another caroling event at the Orem City Cemetery.

The first caroling event was around Christmastime in 2016. Since then, the crowds have grown and the event has become increasingly popular. The annual Community Christmas Caroling will be held at 6 p.m. Monday at the cemetery.

“We lost our little 9-month-old boy to a rare disease called trifunctional protein deficiency in October 2016,” Jaicee Roden said. “Through this experience, we have recognized that holidays can be difficult for many reasons, including the loss of loved ones. This holiday season, we would love to spread cheer by singing with angels — our angels.”

TFP deficiency is a fatty acid oxidation disorder. Individuals are lacking or have decreased function of trifunctional protein, leading to an inability to utilize certain dietary fats or fat stored in the body for energy.

The Roden family has invited the public to come caroling this year.

Dominic Valente, Daily Herald file photo

From left, Kendall Thomas, Isabelle Sulz and Shauna Russell sing Christmas carols during a special celebration of Jay Roden on Monday at the Orem Cemetery. Jay died after being alive for only 9 months, due to a condition called trifunctional protein deficiency.

“Our hope is that we can each feel love, hope, and joy as we gather as friends and neighbors this Christmas season,” Jaicee Roden said.

According to Jaicee Roden, there will be a special tree set up to decorate. The public is welcome to bring an ornament to share that represents a loved one(s).

“Be sure to dress warm and bring your beautiful (or not-so-beautiful) singing voices. Caroling will last an hour, maximum. Hot chocolate will be provided,” she said.

Carolers and Orem residents came together, despite the cold, to sing carols and drink hot cocoa in a bonding event in honor of Jay Roden's life Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, at the Orem Cemetery. In late October, Jay Roden passed away after just 9 months of life due to trifunctional protein deficiency.


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