‘Live like Sawyer’: Hanover mom raises awareness about childhood cancer

Jamie Perkins: “Sawyer was just an amazing little girl. She came into the world a spitfire and she had a warrior spirit.”
Jamie Perkins will never forget her daughter’s bright smile, which lives on in a framed photo she holds close to her heart.
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 6:36 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2023 at 6:44 PM EDT
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HANOVER, Va. (WWBT) - Jamie Perkins will never forget her daughter’s bright smile, which lives on in a framed photo she holds close to her heart.

Sawyer Perkins
Sawyer Perkins(Source;WWBT | WWBT)

“Just the sparkle in her eyes,” said Jamie about her daughter, Sawyer, while holding the frame. “She’s just so beautiful. She had so much life to live.”

Jamie Perkins said Sawyer was a beautiful girl with a bright spirit.

“Sawyer was just an amazing little girl,” said Jamie Perkins. “She came into the world a spitfire, and she had a warrior spirit.”

In 2016, Sawyer Perkins was diagnosed with an aggressive, rare form of brain cancer.

Sawyer Perkins
Sawyer Perkins(Source; Jamie Perkins | Jamie Perkins)

“We didn’t really know anything was wrong with her. It was just a wobbly eye,” said Jamie Perkins. “It was within a matter of hours we found out she had two large brain tumors.”

Sawyer Perkins’ was beloved by many across Central Virginia, including NBC12.

“My favorite memory is one time we were in the studio, and she was just dancing and singing to Megan Trainor,” said Jamie Perkins.

On New Year’s Eve in 2020, Sawyer Perkins passed away.

“Sawyer was such a special girl, I knew I had to carry on her legacy,” said Jamie Perkins.

In 2021, Jamie started a nonprofit called “Sawyer’s Warriors,” to help bereaved families impacted by childhood cancer.

“We recognized and personally understand the profound impact the loss of the child has on an entire family,” said Jamie Perkins. “We aim to support the siblings and the parents after the funeral is over by trying to provide some sort of peace and comfort.”

Sawyer's Warriors
Sawyer's Warriors(Source;WWBT | WWBT)

One way Jamie Perkins is providing peace is through “Beauty Beyond the Beast” boxes.

“Just brings some happy memories and helps them feel closer to the child that they lost,” she said. “We send memorials of their child. I know I appreciated so many gifts people sent to me after Sawyer had died, and I want to do that for other families.”

Jamie Perkins is also painting Hanover gold this weekend to raise awareness about childhood cancer.

“I contacted some of the businesses in Hanover that supported us along the way and got a bunch of teen artists, and we’re going to paint the windows of the outside businesses with a bunch of ribbons and designs,” she said.

So far, Jamie Perkins said 10 businesses have signed up for the effort, inspired by this motto: “Live like Sawyer, love like Sawyer, and give like Sawyer.”

“It’s all about giving back to others and pulling our community together and just spreading the awareness that the kids need our help,” said Jamie Perkins.

Jamie Perkins told NBC12 they will start painting Hanover gold on Sunday. For more information about “Sawyer’s Warriors,” click here.