1-5-4 Bridge Park renamed for child
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
A little boy’s battle with cancer captured the hearts of Miami Lakers who will be able to visit a town park that will be dedicated to his memory.
Jake “Jakey” Orlando Duque, shown in photo at right, died June 8, a month after his 5th birthday.
The 1-5-4 Bridge Park, at the west end of Northwest 154th Street and Northwest 89th Avenue, will be renamed for the child, the town council decided June 16.
Jakey, his sister Lyla and parents Orlando and Karen Duque once lived nearby, along Northwest 153rd Terrace.
“It’s to honor him because he had an immense impact to the community,” said Mayor Manny Cid, who proposed the tribute.
Jakey became sick in October 2019 after he was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, a cancerous tumor that begins in a patient’s brain stem and affects the heartbeat, breathing, swallowing, eyesight and balance, his parents said.
Last year, Jakey kept waking up with bad headaches and vomiting. His parents thought he had a virus until the dreadful diagnosis was made.
Their child died just eight months later.
Jakey was treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. and at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood.
Jakey’s procedures and setbacks were reported by his parents on social media in a group called Jakey’s Army, and hundreds of people from around the world followed his progress, the couple, both 38, said.
The family held virtual prayer vigils.
And in May, a caravan of 100 classic cars and
trucks drove through Miami Lakes to celebrate Jakey’s birthday and his return home.
On that day, Jakey rode in a red and white 1961 Corvette convertible. The family received proclamations and keys to the town and county from Cid and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Esteban Bovo, Jr.
The family had moved to Miramar before Jakey became ill, but still have strong ties to Miami Lakes.
Orlando Duque is an account executive at All Pneumatic Company in Hialeah.
Family friend Denis Brenes is collecting donations for a statue that will be erected in Jakey Duque Park.
As shown in the illustration below, a likeness of the child will stand on a pedestal, flex his bicep and have a cape like one that
The Duques said their son’s death has sparked a crusade for them to raise awareness about childhood cancers and finding cures.
“For us, it’s about making a difference,” Karen Duque said. “We are at the beginning of something that we hope will grow.”