It is with great shock and sadness that we offer our condolences and prayers to the family of Jake Brewer, the husband of Mary Katharine Ham, and the father of Georgia and a child on the way, as well as his colleagues and friends at the White House and Change.org. Jake died as a result of an accident while participating in the Ride to Conquer Cancer bicycle rally and fundraiser. He gave his life while trying to help others, a quality that Jake’s friends say is defining about him. Jake passed away yesterday at 34 years of age.

Mary Katharine published this statement on Instagram, along with a picture of their growing family:

We lost our Jake yesterday, and I lost part of my heart and the father of my sweet babies. I don’t have to tell most of you how wonderful he was. It was self-evident. His life was his testimony, and it was powerful and tender and fierce, with an ever-present twinkle in the eye. I will miss him forever, even more than I can know right now. No arms can be her father’s, but my daughter is surrounded by her very favorite people and all the hugs she could imagine. This will change us, but with prayer and love and the strength that is their companion, we can hope our heartache is not in vain– that it will change us and the world in beautiful ways, just as he did. If that sounds too optimistic at this time, it’s because it is. But there was no thought too optimistic for Jake, so take it and run with it. I will strive and pray not to feel I was cheated of many years with him, but cherish the gift of the years I had. In a life where nothing is guaranteed, Jake made the absolute, ever-lovin’ most of his time with all of us. This is a family picture we took a couple weeks ago. It was taken because Jake, as always, was ready with a camera and his immense talent. All four members of our little, growing family are in it. I can never be without him because these babies are half him. They are made of some of the strongest, kindest stuff God had to offer this world. Please pray that he can see us and we’ll all make him proud. God, I love him. Psalm 34:18, Philippians 1:3

A photo posted by Mary Katharine Ham (@mkhammertime) on

Nothing we can add would be adequate to the profound loss and sorrow which Mary Katharine, their families and their friends are suffering at the moment. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of them, and we’d ask our readers to join us. Later, we’ll ask a friend to give us a more complete recognition of Jake’s life, but we do not wish to unnecessarily disturb them during this time of shock and mourning.

God our Father,
Your power brings us to birth,
Your providence guides our lives,
and by Your command we return to dust.

Lord, those who die still live in Your presence,
their lives change but do not end.
I pray in hope for my family,
relatives and friends,
and for all the dead known to You alone.

In company with Christ,
Who died and now lives,
may they rejoice in Your kingdom,
where all our tears are wiped away.
Unite us together again in one family,
to sing Your praise forever and ever.

Amen.

Update: The family and friends of Jake Brewer, Mary Katharine’s husband, have launched a GoFundMe project to create an educational fund for their two children, Georgia and the one on the way.

Those of us who love Jake want to help ensure that Mary Katharine and the family have everything they need — now and (especially) in the future.  Please contribute to help provide for their childrens’ education as they grow up. These funds may also be used to advance ideas about which Jake was passionate.  Finally, Mary Katharine has asked that people consider donating to a cause very close to their hearts: The Travis Manion Foundation, which supports families of fallen US servicemen, at   www.TravisManion.org.

The goal of the education fund is $200,000, probably a bare minimum for college education for two students 16-18 years from now. Let’s push this higher than that. Mary Katharine faces some very difficult challenges for her children and herself without Jake, but we can help take worries over education off the table for her.