Recently, we learned the sad news that LAIRD JACKSON – the CdLS Foundation’s first medical director passed away. Before the founding of our beloved Foundation there was the Reaching Out newsletter. Those early pioneers sent out a request to the medical community asking for help to better understand the little-known genetic disorder of Cornelia de Lange Syndrome. One man answered the call – Dr. Laird Jackson.
Dr. Jackson was dedicated in his efforts to not only understand the genetic causes of CdLS, he was equally interested in pursuing what complications led to the death of those with the condition. He published many articles and unselfishly shared his research in pursuit of that understanding.
Dr. Jackson’s passion for teaching others about CdLS was contagious. He mentored two important figures in our community – Drs. Ian Krantz and Tonie Kline. Dr. Krantz is a leading clinician and researcher at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Dr. Kline among her many other accomplishments, went on to succeed Dr. Jackson as the Foundation’s second medical director.
Perhaps, Dr. Jackson’s greatest legacy is the love, care and hope he provided for so many in those early years. We offer the family and his many friends our deepest condolences.
To read Laird’s obituary click here.
Bonnie Royster, Executive Director
P.S. For those wishing to send a note of condolence to the family – the address:
2601 Pennsylvania Avenue, Unit 906
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Dr. Laird Jackson is a hero. My heart is heavy knowing that he is gone, taking with him a gargantuan amount of knowledge and wisdom. The world is a lesser place without him in in. His kindness and grace soothed my fears and his wit and intelligence provided encouragement and gave me hope. A giant has left us and I grieve Dr. Jackson’s passing.
Dear Jackson family.
I am saddened for your loss. I will be forever grateful to Laird for his comfort, dedication and kindness. He gave encouragement and love during a challenging time. As a father/parent, I was struggling and feeling helpless . Laird provided a knot at the end of the rope . I’m sure your family sacrificed not seeing him as he travelled and devoted time away from you.
It made a Difference and even 30 years later I ache for your loss of such a wonderful man. Our daughter Audrey and others suffered less for his support. Thank you.
Peace , Ron Sherga
Such a caring person. So sad for this loss.
Dr.Jackson forever changed my life when he and Dr. Krantz traveled to my home in Michigan to confirm that my two children did indeed have CDLS. I will be forever grateful for his kindness.
Jesse Bassett and I send our heartfelt condolences for your loss. Dr. Jackson saw Jesse at the first biannual family conference, held in Minneapolis in 1998, and at a few more conferences over the next 10 years. Dr. Jackson was an amazing physician and researcher. We will keep you in our prayers. Blessings, Robyn Dietzinger.
It is with sadness that I offer the Jackson family my condolences. It’s hard to know where our foundation would be without Dr Jackson’s caring shared knowledge and expertise. I didn’t know him personally but I so appreciate what his imput has done to motivate others as they help us learn more of how to deal and what to expect from our children and grandchildren. May he RIP, and his family be blessed!
Dr. Jackson’s Family, Our Sincere Condolences to you.
I will always remember how soft spoken he was and how compassionately he spoke to my Husband and I about our new born little girl when we saw him in Philadelphia.
An extremely kind Doctor he was and will be missed by so many.
Debbie and Gary Mycock
Dr. Jackson has done so much to improve the lives of children with CdLS and help their families. We are forever grateful. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Jackson family.
I am saddened to hear of the passing of such a wonderful man. I am not sure if Laird found his purpose within CdLs, or whether, unknowingly, the children and families of CdLs found him? No matter the conncetion, his expertise, leadership and compassion brought light onto a path not traveled. He instinctively knew he could not venture on his quest alone. Seeking out specialty after specialty, he built a team, he lead a team, of like-minded professionals who fell in love with the children and embraced the parents. Very few times in our lifetime do we come across such an amazing individual. We have been truly blessed to have had him in our lifetime.
Such sad, sad news today. What a great man and my family was so incredibly fortunate and blessed to have known him. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, Marie.
We are so saddened to see this. Dr. Jackson was a God sans to this foundation and all the work he did for our kids with CdLS. His legacy lives on and he will be missed. Our prayers are with his family.
I had the honor of meeting him in 2006 . When it came to families uncertainty about understanding .He was everyone’s help or savior .He had a wonderful mind .I am so very sorry and send my prayers to his family .
My heart is saddened at this news Dr Jackson truly was pioneer and great man. His love was tremendous. You will be missed Dr. Jackson.
I am sorry to hear of Dr. Jackson’s passing. I did get to meet him at one of the conferences that Jessie and I attended. May he rest in peace along with our CdLS Angels.
What a loss to Laird’s family and to our CdLS community. We met Laird in 1989 at our first conference held in San Francisco. Our Molly was just over a year old. We made a plan not long after for him to come to a family gathering I was planning in Maine. He collected the very first blood samples from the families present to find the gene that caused CdLS. It would be years of his team’s tireless research before the first gene was found.
Laird and Marie were one of the first to reach out and offer condolences when we lost our Molly just a few months ago. His research has helped thousands of families past, present and future. Rest peacefully Laird. Your life was well lived.
Without Dr. Jackson’s devotion, essential knowledge and sharing…where, indeed, would the Foundation be — ’tis not possible to imagine. His generous spirit and spearheading were crucial to the formation of it all. We are indeed indebted to his foresight and work.
We are saddened to hear of Dr. Jackson’s passing. He truly embodied the spirit of Aloha in how he treated us, the CDLS families. I remember meeting him when Jeff and I attended our first conference back in 1984. It was heartwarming to meet the other families and I remember Dr. Jackson’s tenderness, kindness and compassion when he met with Jeff who was less than a year old and weighing less than
6 lbs. We extend our condolences to his wife Marie and his family. Thank you for sharing him with us.
Ahui ho (until we meet again) Dr. Jackson
Blessings of Aloha
John and Nancy Moreno-Derks
Oh no! I am so sad ! He was the expert we all turned to and his dedication to our babies was/is so appreciated. So sorry to hear this! Will keep the family in my thoughts.
Oh, my heart hurts to learn that Laird has passed on. His passion and love for our CdLS family is legendary. He dedicated his medical work to our kiddos and always had the time to welcome a new family, confirm the CdLs diagnosis and deliver the news in a gentle manner. Very sad tonight.
My heart skipped a few beats. He was a savior to our family. I was 25 yrs old when I met him. 1983 my daughter was born with CDLS. Only a handful of people have heard of it. I met him and he gave us hope and security. Diagnosed many issues we all had in common. Came to our regional family gathering here in PA just to learn more. My hope was built on his knowledge. My daughter Erica is 36 now. I’m sure this is because of this man. God sent this angel to all of us.
RIP Dr. Jackson you deserve a golden seat in heaven. Our loss is great. My condolences to the family. Our CDLS families will live much better lives because you were in them. For all the knowledge you have came from so much work and dedication. It was greatly appreciated.
Read your condolences about Dr Jackson he sounds like a great man my daughter has Cornelia de Lange also . She was born 1970 you said only a handful at the time .. I can relate thought maybe we can connect and share about our adult kids My em is firstname.lastname@example.org my daughters name is Vanessa & my name is Antoinette Blessings
We send our Love and Prayers to Dr. Jackson’s friends and family. We all lost a Great Leader. His shoes will be hard to replace. He was our Rock and Dedication to CDlS. We all will come together and be in Peace.
Christine (mother) and Mary (25 yrs with CDLS) Fiori
Dr. Laird Jackson changed the world that my mother lived in. He identified that MIchael had CdLS.
He was kind, understanding and a lovely human being. He travelled down roads leaving footprints on so many peoples hearts . His care when speaking to family members was honest and he always took time to listen. He will be missed. I hope that Marie and his entire family find peace in the knowledge that he changed the world for the better each time he spoke to a family or other professional. I will be forever grateful for his wisdom.
I am saddened by this news of Laird’s passing. Thank you for your work over many years helping people who have CdLS and their families. Your impact has been global. Much love to you, Marie. Jenny from Australia.XXXXX
We are very saddened to hear about the passing of Dr Jackson, we extend our condolence to his family as well as to the entire CdLS family. Indeed this is a tremendous loss for all.
Our condolenses and God Bless him for bringing light
and hope to so many families.
My deepest sympathy to Marie Jackson and the family. We met in Chicago in 2004 when we travelled there from Hungary for our 1st conference.
He was not only a great doctor but a fantastic person as well.
May he rest in peace! Farewell dr. Jackson!!!
R.I.P. Dr, Jackson
My heart goes out to the family while praying they feel God’s holy presence and know God loves them and will ease the hurt but not one wonderful memory will be forgotten.
Our condolences to the family of Dr. Laird Jackson. As a CLDS parent I thank him from the bottom of my heart for his dedication to CDLS.
Dr. Jackson will be greatly missed. He never gave up searching for the answers that so many families needed to hear. He was dedicated and had such a big heart for our kids!! What a wonderful person and blessing he was for so many years our hearts are heavy God Bless you Dr. Jackson Rest In Peace!!
After a geneticist at Mount Sinai in New York diagnosed our daughter Jessica with CdLS in early 1990, she recommended that we travel to Philadelphia to ask Dr. Jackson to confirm the diagnosis and to seek his advice. His kindness and compassion then, and on subsequent occasions when we saw him at family gatherings, were characteristic of his greatness as a doctor and a caring human being. His devotion to people with CdLS and their families, and to the Foundation, and to the cadre of excellent younger doctors he mentored (including Dr. Kline and Dr. Krantz) was boundless.
Words cannot express our sorrow at the news of his passing.
Linda Blumkin and Greg, Jessica and Michael Klurfeld
Dr. Jackson what a Blessing he was to my family….so kind and caring!