Build Jake’s Playground heals a family; lifts up a community
“Grief is exhausting. You don’t want to wake up from it,” admits Lynn Cummings. Her grandson Jacob Myles Cummings Nasto passed away in 2008. Jake’s rare heart condition, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, kept him in the hospital for operations and away from his favorite place: the playground.
“Jake’s disability made it difficult for him to play on the playground, but he loved it there. He’d light up when other kids were around. Seeing them have fun was his motivation,” she recalls.
Jake received his physical therapy on the local playground, which is typical for special needs children.
After Jake passed away, his parents Joseph Nasto and Kate Cummings were devastated. “My daughter [Kate] was never happy. But when we received a gift to do something in memory of Jake, she knew what to do: build a playground. This idea gave us life,” Lynn explains.