“Jeston was a very strong person, he wouldn’t let small things affect him or get him down. He was caring and would show affection in many ways. He gave me advice when I was having a hard time and then he checked on me later. Another friend of ours was going through some tough times and Jeston asked me to check in on him and to help him assist the other friend.” – Angel Luna
“Jes” loved country music, movies like the “Big Short” or “Shark Tank”, football, sports of all kinds, his mom, his nephew Taiton, all of his family, his girl – ‘Khmara’, friends, a cold beer, Kali’s dog, getting to travel with family and friends, and don’t forget those Dallas Cowboys. Jes loved “LIFE”!
The Pray Family
Jeston is survived by his parents, Rocky and Dana, his sister, Kali, his nephew, Taiton, grandparents Linda Pray and Dan and Cathy Dinsdale, and many special aunts, uncles, and cousins—Jan and Mike Baum—Dustin & Lexi, Jill Morgan —Jeremy & Ashley, Pennie & Craig Fuhrmann – Erika & Ehrin. He was preceded in death by his nephew, Jaxton, his grandfather Allan Pray, and his grandmother Georgia Dinsdale.
Today, the Pray Family places a high priority on time together and living each day for one another. Much of their efforts, outside of day-to-day activities, on the Pray for Life Foundation. To them, it’s the best way to honor Jeston and to keep him close to them.
Leaving his Heart in Texas – Dennis Kaddatz, Jeston’s heart recipient
Dennis received Jeston’s heart on January 16, 2017. He had been on the recipient list for approx. 7 months prior to receiving this gift. When he got the call from his doctor, the doctor’s exact words were “this heart is a beautiful, perfect heart”. Dennis says “The Pray’s are my second family.”
How did you meet the Pray family? “During the transplant process, I was told by the transplant team that due to HIPAA, I was unable to communicate directly with the donor family. I was told that approx. 20% of cases end up where the donor family and recipient connect. I wasn’t expecting to hear anything, however, 3 months later, I received a packet from the transplant coordinator that included some high-level information that allowed us to connect with the Pray family.
What are your thoughts on the mission of the Pray for Life Foundation? There’s a lot of times where people simply don’t have the financial ability to stay with their loved one in the hospital or to stay close by. And, many don’t know where to turn to for emotional support. This foundation really helps with that. There are not too many days that have went by where I don’t think about what could’ve been if Jeston had not passed. I’ve learned so much about how great of a person that Jeston was. It’s a hard thing – realizing that and the guilt that can come with it. I live my life to be a good steward to honor the second chance that I’ve been given.
“I could not get through the first sentences of your letter without hard tears, for the sorrow I feel for all of your family, and the loss of a genuinely unique and loving person that is Jeston. There is so much to tell you about my experiences before, during, and after the transplant; and how it is not coincidence that the many things he really enjoyed in life are the same as myself.”
“I pray that your loving family are all well during this time and I really hope to hear from you very soon, if possible.” – taken from initial message that Dennis Kaddatz sent to Rocky and Dana Pray
Jeston’s passion was sports and he excelled in sports and any form of competition throughout his life. Not only on the field, but sports gave Jeston the energy and drive in other areas of his life and it was a common thread that led to many of his close relationships.
The Pray family has deep connections with their close friends in the Dallas/Frisco area as well as many friends in Nevada and elsewhere. However, the best way to describe the Pray Family and their values of opening their home to others is to get the perspective from Jeston’s many friends as well as their circle of friends in Texas.
An important thing our relationship did was bring the Pray family into my life. I thank Jeston daily for bringing me into their family. They are my second family and there’s no way I will ever repay them for things they have done for me.” – Mikeala Basso
“Our son and Jeston were the same age. They played sports together and the Pray’s were neighbors in Frisco. Our families used to hang out on weekends watching football and harassing one another about our NFL teams.” – Joe Reddington
The Pray Family faced insurmountable challenges and extenuating circumstances when they arrived in Dallas on January 14, 2017. At Jeston’s bedside in the hospital, they then realized the gravity of the situation and were told by the medical team that Jeston’s accident was not survivable. They were then given the option to donate his organs. Faced with this decision while not entirely sure of what Jeston’s wishes were (his wallet including driver’s license indicating his desire to be an organ donor had not yet been released to them until after this decision point), they came together as a family and with close friends made the decision to proceed with organ retrieval.
From there, they had a challenging experience with the organ retrieval logistics, lack of social or psychological counsel, comfort, uncertainty, and process which is one of the many reasons why the Foundation exists.
“This foundation will help other families going through organ donation and transplant which is such a life-changing experience. The financial and emotional toll can be huge.”
“I have tried to spend more time with my family and with the Pray family since Jeston’s passing. The Pray family is a very strong family and they have helped so many people even though they have lost their son.” – Angel Luna
“I chose to become a board member of the Pray for Life Foundation because my family and I love the Pray family and their commitment to families facing the complex issues surrounding organ donation is just awesome. I don’t know how this issue wouldn’t, in some way, touch everyone. Every family knows someone who has been impacted by organ donation and this Foundation is a beautiful thing.”- Joe Reddington
Thanks to the amazing generosity of so many individuals and businesses, the scholarship fund is growing at impressive levels each year! A pinnacle annual event, the Jeston Pray Memorial Golf Tournament and the more resent Corn Hole Event both held in Elko, Nevada each summer is packed full of fun and camaraderie as friends and strangers, alike, gather to support this worthwhile cause