We had the good fortune of connecting with Jay Hewitt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jay, looking back, what do you think was the most difficult decision you’ve had to make?
The most difficult decision I have ever had to make came at my weakest moment. I was just diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and I needed to make two key decisions.
1) In terms of my spiritual health I needed to decide if I would continue down the path of my current faith tradition or if I would walk away disillusioned. I decided to remain true to my spiritual convictions despite my current state of confusion. This decision lead to me finding the clarity and strength to make the next difficult decision.
2) As a young father who was just handed a devastating prognosis I needed to decide how to respond to my situation in a way that would benefit my daughter. Drawing on the wisdom of my faith tradition that teaches “when you are weak then you are strong” I decided to demonstrate this truth to my daughter through my example. I decided that I would attempt for the first time a full-distance IRONMAN triathlon while going through intense cancer treatment.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a pastor at Friends Church. I have always strived to have an authentic faith and practice what I preach. Terminal brain cancer has allowed me to show my faith community that God uses all things for our good. I have spent 20 years caring for people at Friends Church. In my greatest time of need, these people rallied around me and our continuing to lift me up in prayer and support me in my daily life. I wasn’t raised in the church but am now so grateful to have a spiritual family who I can lean on.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
So much to choose from. But here’s a stab at it. Breakfast at EggSlut
Beach time in Malibu.
Hiking at Leo Carrillo State park.
Tacos for dinner at Te’Killa
A show at the Dolby
Star gazing at the Observatory.
Roof Top drinks at the Wayfairer
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Achieving my dream of showing my daughter that with God anything is possible because he transforms our weakness to strength was only possible with the support of my wife. The decision to do IRONMAN while going through cancer treatment was taxing on my body, but the real stress and burden fell onto the shoulders of my wife, Natalie Hewitt. She is a full time professor of literature, was caring for me and my health and was also caring for our daughter, Hero. During this time. Her strength and resilience during this time was so very impressive.
Other: Dear Hero feature length documentary to be released in early 2023 I Am Weak I Am Strong to be published in late 2023