Jaquan Zahiyr Caddy accomplished so much in a short life while encountering difficult physical and mental health challenges on a daily basis. Despite it all, Jaquan went to school and found that what he enjoyed most was being around kids who experienced these similar health and mental challenges.
He especially liked playing sports in school. Some of his proudest achievements was playing a basketball game during halftime at a Denver Nuggets game. He was a Jr Colorado Rapids player through Rangeview Unified Sports and had the opportunity of traveling to Washington. DC to play soccer. He accumulated many medals and ribbons, but his proudest moment was graduating from Rangeview High School high in 2020.
You could say that Jaquan was always looking out for others other than himself. If there was a snow storm Jaquan would be the first to go out and shovel a path from the drive to his house and around his mother’s car. He did this so that the EMT’s would be able to safely carry him from the apartment to the ambulance. After completing this important task, he would then shovel his neighbors’ stairs so they could safely make it down to the sidewalk. Jaquan was so dedicated to the shoveling that people around the apartment complex would complain to the office “Why is building K getting special privileges with their sidewalks being shoveled? Where is maintenance for our building?” Their response: “Jaquan did that for his building!”
Jaquan was afraid to go to sleep at night because that was when the seizures would occur from either his sugar spiking or dropping. To stay up, he would walk around patrolling and looking out for others with his walkie-talkie a Christmas gift from his favorite auntie and uncle. His mother gave him the nickname of “The Unpaid Security” (with an affectionate eye roll). Other than his fierce love for his mother, Jaquan loved money. He always had money and knew how to get it. He wasn’t afraid of work! He carried groceries for the neighbors and assisted those moving in or out of the complex. He always knew that his mesmerizing eyes and dancing dimple could get $20 out of any family member or friend! Even with the challenge of being autistic, he still would buy a bus ticket and go and see his friends.
It was on February 14th, 2023, Valentine’s Day, when Jaquan entered the hospital with pneumonia and experienced a grand mal seizure leaving him paralyzed. He spent his 21st birthday on a breathing machine with his devoted mother by his side. It was his beautiful heart that kept others smiling and will live on through everyone who met him. He will always be remembered as a young man who enjoyed eating good food, joking, and laughing with his friends and family. One of the saddest recent things I encountered is when he called his aunt crying saying that his cat Ginger passed away. He said goodbye to Ginger and told her he would see her soon.
From a young diabetic autistic man, we have learned and continue to learn: Be Kind and Make the Best of Life.
Jaquan is preceded in death by his Nana, Waltereen Diggins, and his precious friend, Ginger the Cat.
Jaquan leaves to cherish his memory, his mother Denise Keil, grandfather Isaac Diggins, Aunts and Uncles, cousins, Godparents, God-Aunt Jan Maccuish, and Oreo the Cat.