OBITUARY: Jonah “Bolognah” Robert Diaz, 6, Succumbs to Brain Cancer

| May 22, 2015 | 0 Comments | News
Photo Courtesy of Malia Hayes

Photo of Jonah courtesy of Malia Hayes

Jonah “Bolognah” Robert Diaz peacefully passed away at home on May 16, 2015 after a previous day filled with family, Legos, cooking, and late-night brother chats.

Six-year-old Jonah passed from relapsed medulloblastoma, a relatively rare type of brain cancer, exactly two years after his first brain surgery. Throughout those two years, Jonah embraced every moment of life while enduring multiple surgeries, extensive chemotherapy, a clinical trial, and almost 60 cumulative days of radiation including daily anesthesia. Despite the vast treatments, Jonah was legendarily positive, determined, intelligent, brave, cooperative, and genuinely happy. His brothers were always there providing never-ending motivation, distraction, laughter, normalcy, shnuggles, and love.

Cancer never stopped Jonah from living life. After learning to read at three years old, he was an avid reader devouring books of every type; family always scrunched in closely to listen to his soothing voice. Jonah would play imagination games with his brothers for hours “becoming” anything from Tarzan to tigers to superheroes. His attention span far exceeded his family’s as he put together what seemed like hundreds of Lego kits and colored for endless chunks of time. Although he enjoyed the occasional cheeseburger, pizza slice, or hot dog, Jonah was infamous for his unique appetite of “savory” foods like Pad Thai, mussels, Chinese food, sushi, broccoli, and Dad’s smoked ribs and grilled chicken wings. He was the authority on constructing “the perfect bite” on every spoonful. He not only ate well, but the little chef loved cooking and baking with Mom in the kitchen. His culinary masterpieces ranged from the most delicious homemade blueberry muffins to creating his very own special hamburger sauce. When he wasn’t engaged in any of these activities, Jonah could be found swimming “crazy octopus” style, chasing pigeons, killing zombies, giggling during potty talk, dancing, giving compliments, collecting stuffies, riding rollercoasters, belly laughing, and giving the absolute best hugs.

Many have been inspired by the exceptional strength Jonah has exhibited. Jonah now lives in the hearts of his parents, Sarah and Neil Diaz of Bristow, Virginia; three “BFF” brothers, Samuel (just turned 9), Bennett (4), and Caleb (2); maternal grandparents Marie and Robert (Jonah’s namesake) Frier of Eden, New York; paternal grandparents, Linda and Kenneth Diaz of New Boston, New Hampshire; and honorary Virginian grandmother, Deborah Byrne of Manassas, Virginia.

The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to family and friends, the local community and school, the Manassas Park School District, Booz Allen Hamilton, and the numerous doctors and nurses who cared for Jonah at Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders of Northern Virginia, Children’s National of DC, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, INOVA Fairfax Hospital, the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, and Memorial Sloan Kettering.

To best honor Jonah’s extraordinary spirit, there will be a Celebration of Life welcome to all ages on May 30 starting at 11:30 a.m. It will be held at Heritage Hunt Golf and Country Club at 6901 Arthur Hills Drive, Gainesville, VA 20155. Since Jonah brought so much brightness to every life he touched, we request that all attending wear red (his favorite color) or bright colors.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation addressed to:

“Jonah Bolognah Memorial Fund”
PMB 160
10302 Bristow Center Drive
Bristow, VA 20136
For more information about Jonah’s story, please feel free to read the family’s blog at

© 2015, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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