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Brothers Thankful for Immense Katy Kindness Shown Since Losing Both Parents


September 20, 2023

By Natalie Cook Clark

Two Katy brothers continue to be thankful for the outpour of Katy kindness and support they’ve received since the death of their parents.

Photos courtesy of Jaylan Gray.

Katy Brothers Lost Both Parents in 6 Years

24-year-old Jaylan Gray is working, going to school, and raising his 13-year-old brother, Julian Nicholson. They lost their father to a heart attack in 2014 and mother to cancer in 2020. Since then the brothers have lived in the Katy home that their parents left them.

I’d say the impact of losing both of our parents made me view the world and life differently, and I’m sure Julian would agree with me on that,” says Jaylan. “I’d also say we’ve had to grow up really quick, me more so than Julian of course. Just being tossed into the adult world and learning everything as I go has been interesting to say the least.”

Jaylan and Julian

Hardships Kept Coming

The brothers continued to experience hardships during Hurricane Harvey when their home flooded and then again during the big Katy freeze.

“During the freeze we took shelter at our grandmother’s home once we were able to return to the house, we soon realized that there was cracked pipes all throughout the house and the sheetrock was wet and would later on mold,” says Jaylan.

Katy Kindness is Strong

Despite such hardships Jaylan and Julian have truly seen the good in the Katy community. Jaylan’s boss at KVI has family that volunteer with Katy Responds. The organization was able to help them with their home.

“The kindness Julian and I received was out of this world we had no idea the community would rally like that to support us in our time of need,” says Jaylan.

Jaylan works at KVI and is currently taking online classes with Unity College thanks to generous scholarship assistance. He is pursuing his dream to be a park ranger.

Julian is an 8th grader at McMeans Junior High and is an active student athlete on the football and basketball teams. He wants to be a professional athlete.

“During this rough patch in our lives I’ve seen what having a great support system around you can do, and how they can get you out of the lowest of lows,” says Jaylan. “Younger me believed he could do it all on his own, but I was wrong. There are just some battles that you need a helping hand and our family was just that.”

The brothers are close to the grandmother who lives in Katy.

Quick to Give Thanks

They are quick to give thanks and to offer advice for others going through difficult times.

“If there’s anything I could say to anybody who’s going through a rough patch in life it would be don’t be afraid to ask for help,” says Jaylan. “You’re not alone trust me you’re really not and you’d be surprised by who steps up to help you.”

At one point, the brothers were afraid they would lose their home. Not only was that their home but it is full of memories of the parents that they miss.

“A group of strangers, people I didn’t even know, stepped up to support me and my brother and for that we are forever grateful for what the Katy community has done for us.”


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