Jake, my beloved nephew.  Where do I begin?  I probably shouldn't begin with your story of climbing a building in Chicago.   I'll save that for later.  You know what I'm going to miss the most?  Your laugh.  And your hugs.  Just all of you.  It's difficult walking in a world that you're not in anymore.  I'm going to tuck you into my heart and keep you there, safe and loved.  I love you so much.  - Kelly



03/06/2009 15:26

hi jake i love you so much relly much. you are in my heart. love, paige

03/06/2009 15:35

Jake was really loved and special everyone loved him. i know noone will see him again, but we all loved him and we all enjoy having him around.


Jill Metkowski
03/06/2009 17:23

We miss you Jake!
Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to your family.
TJ, Jill, Miles & Avery Metkowski

Lisa Dunnigan
03/07/2009 12:30

I remember the first time my son, Kevin went to Jake's house. He came home and told me about this crazy ping pong game they played. If you missed a shot, you had to turn your back to the table, pull up your shirt, and the other player got to fire a ping pong ball at your back. And to make it worse, they were video taping the whole thing... so I got to watch. The two of them were shouting in pain, and laughing at the same time. You couldn't help but laugh when you saw the video. I remember thinking then that my son had definitely found a friend who had as crazy a sense of humor as he did.

Colleen Dunnigan
03/07/2009 19:40

I will never forget the look on your face everytime you walked in the door that little smirk and you would say Co-Lean how ya been, and I would always look at you and say fine Jake I swear you were always the first non blood related person at the kitchen table on every holiday and you were only there to say hello! I will never forget your smile nor your laughter, it was enough to brighten anyones day. Forever in my heart, Jake.

Love Co-Lean

Sarah Christiansen
03/07/2009 19:47

Jake you were the best cousin ever, I will miss you soooo much! Take care of grandma Neil. I will always keep memories of you close to my heart. Like when we were kids and we used to play superman or when my dad would hook up sleds to the snowmobile and take us for rides. Christmas was always a blast, things will never be the same without Jake the Snake. Love you Jake. -Sarah-bo-bera

Holly Knapp
03/08/2009 10:52

you were always a stubborn older brother never sharing with me. put always making me laugh. i love the video where your sleeping and i am petting your face and looking at you like you are the greatest thing on the earth. which you were. and than later in the video with your little girl voice you look at the camara and say " HI were playing drum stick, you put a bucket on her head, hit it , and SHE LAUGHS" you sure knew how to make me laugh. i always wanted to be like you and wanted to hang out with you. You were my hero. I could go on and on with stories on how we thought someone was in the house and you locked me in the truck and went back into the house (as if your 4'5 self could hurt someone) and how when we took baths and you would slam the wash cloths against the wall and i would laugh laugh. but i wont keep going. i love you everyday and you best keep me safe and watch over mom and dad as well. I Will miss you everyday of my life. - love you , love your little sister Holly.

Melissa Anderson
03/08/2009 20:53

I didn't know Jake, but I do know Kelly, Derek, Parker and Paige. My family is remembering them and your whole family in our prayers. We can't imagine what you are going through and only hope that the love and support of family, friends and strangers can help, even just a little bit.


Trinady Walls
03/09/2009 07:32

You are lucky to have such a strong and connected family in this difficult time. My heart breaks for all of you. Hopefully you can put one foot in front of the other and take life one precious day at a time.

03/09/2009 09:36

Wow! What cool stories and support!

Does anyone know how many backrubs Jake has given or how many earlobes he touched? Like, what are we talking about, a few hundred thousand? I swear he was a few months old when his obsession with earlobes began. Why? Why the earlobes, Jake?
And who introduces himself to someone new, then offers to rub their back? But what's even more weird, is that people were cool with it. I guess that's just Jake. People liked to be with him and to get a good rubdown was a bonus.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I sure could use one of his backrubs right now.
Know what else I loved about him? How he was always on the sidelines cracking jokes under the radar, then when I laughed, people would be like, "What?!" I wouldn't be able to repeat it because A). I could never say it the way he said it, and B). It was usually inappropriate. But I loved it. All he'd have to do is lean in close and look at something and say, "Why? Why is that necessary?" And it was funny.

Uncle Pete
03/10/2009 18:45

I know you’re reading, because I’ve seen your writing. Please know that I am praying/thinking of you, your Mom, and your Dad. I hope that some time soon the good days will outnumber the bad. If there is anything I can do to help that happen, please do not hesitate to ask. Love you girl . . . need a hug, just ask:)

Kari & Dennis,
Words don’t cut it at this point, but please know there are more people than you know that hurt because of this. I hope that somehow knowing so many people are thinking/praying for you, gives you strength. You need to take a moment from grieving to be overwhelmed with pride. You should be proud of Jake and very proud of yourselves. Jake’s subtle, witty, intelligent sense of humor was appreciated by many, but like Kelly I found it exceptional. Jake was exceptional.

It is hard for me to look at the picture of Jake on the home page of this website. The picture is from Christmas, at White Bear Bowl, he is giving me a “high five”. It feels like yesterday, God how I wish it was tomorrow!

Godspeed Jake, Godspeed.

Holly knapp
03/10/2009 19:58

Uncle Pete,
That's very sweet of you. you always do put a smile on my face.

Thank you everyone for the support you have givin me and my family. It amazes me how much love we have in the whole family.


Gramma Judie /Grampa Ron
03/11/2009 07:42

03/11/2009 07:48

Holly, Dennis, Kari
I do not know how to put feelings into words, but I do want you to know that my prayers and thoughts are with you all. You are all in my heart. This might seem silly but the fondest memory I have of Jake is when Kelly and I were living in Roseville Townhome and little Jake was over and he found my Transformers. It was a box of six planes that turned into robots and then combined into one big robot. His eyes lit up when I said he could play with them. (And that might be a shock to all of you knowing how anal I was back then HA) He played with them for hours. Every time he saw me he was like-those are so cool. I am lucky to be in one of his memories after so long. You will be greatly missed Jake. Love ya.
If there is anything you need from me to help you through this, please ask.

Gramma Judie /Grampa Ron
03/11/2009 08:08

Today is the hardest day of our lives as we have been praying this is just a dream and you will be back here with us. We've loved you from the minute you were born and feel blessed for every day you were here on earth with us. I'll miss you mussing up my "high hair" and of course Grampa will miss you feeling his earlobe. We both will miss your hugs and beautiful smile. As I look out in that special place in my front yard where you and I planted our pine tree that has grown to be as great as you are, I look up to heaven and think of you, our grandson, who grew to be as great as that tree. Sending all our hugs and kisses up to heaven- - are you catching them? We'll carry you safe in our hearts and when we feel a flutter there, we'll know you're talking to us.

Aunt Kelly
03/11/2009 08:12

Hi Grandma and Grandpa!
Glad to see you're touching base. It's cool to see all the support.

So happy to see your post! I love you so much.

What a great notion to take a moment and feel the pride we have for Jake and our family.

Today and tomorrow will be tough, but I'm looking forward to celebrating Jake and all that he gave us for 22 years. He's safely tucked into my heart.


Aunt Kelly
03/12/2009 05:55

Grandma and Grandpa (mom and dad),

What a beautiful message. I could barely read it through my tears, but I got through it. Well said.

I forgot about the "high hair" - - that makes me laugh. And laughing is good.

I love you.


Gramma Judie's Sister
03/12/2009 07:12

I haven't had words, as this was just too close for me to bear. I cannot even imagine, even though my faith is so strong, how I could handle this loss. I always thought I was the "strong sister", here, but have found in the last few days, it is not me who is strong at all. It is God who has always carried me, as he is carrying you all right now. It is all the prayers of all the wonderful people who have loved Jake and the whole family, that will enable you all to make it through this difficult time. I will continue to pray, without ceasing, as I know of my own self, I have no power at all. I just know, I love you all & feel the loss as if it was one of my own grandchildren & I cant even bare to think of that...so I pray Jesus & all the angels will intervene for me here & give you strength to make it through. I just became aware this morning, that as much as we have loved Jake, he is in the arms of the greatest lover of all right now...that is GOD..WHO IS LOVE! That was just a revelation to me.
On a lighter note, I have lost touch with the grown Jake, so remember only the younger Jake who had the sweetest face, deep & wonderful eyes & the greatest dimples. I always thought Jake & Holly should have been on all types of Greeting Cards! They are perfect. Jake always had a gentle nature & special depth about him. I just love you all & am here for you if you need me for anything. As weak as I have discovered I am, I will try to be strong for you..because I love you all so much. Joyce

03/12/2009 13:28

Hi Den, Kari and Holly,

What a BEAUTIFUL celebration today of Jake's life! Kari, I could only see Den's dad in my view...and I saw your hand on him in his grief...you're a strong woman. I will continue to pray for you guys.

Kari...call me. Your old number doesn't work...I've heard you're moving...call me when you can so we can touch base.


Kim Wilke
03/12/2009 19:53

Den,Kari, and Holly-Bell,

I wanted to tell you how proud I am of you today and how lucky I am to be a part of your family.

You did Jake proud.

Love you so much,

03/13/2009 07:59

To Cal and all of Jake's friends:

You are so uplifting and inspiring.
A class act all the way. Someone said yesterdeay, "we've grown up a lot in the past week and a half". That's true. You all stood shoulder to shoulder, united in your grief and pride. Now you know you can lean on each other for the rest of your lives - you each have your own personal safety net in each other. That's really cool. Thank you so much for sharing your stories, your tears and your smiles. You'll never know how much that means to our family. A big hug to Cal for being an incredible man with a great heart. p.s. LOVED the socks and sandals. Jake would be proud.

Kari, Den and Hol,
I'm with Kim. So proud of you all. I feel lucky to be a part of such a strong, loving family. I know I soaked all of your shoulders, so if you need someone to lean on, I owe you a shoulder. Love you so much!

Kim Pooker,
The flowers you wanted (but I got) are doing just great in my family room. HA!


jakes mom
03/13/2009 08:39

The loving support and compassion by everyone warms my heart beyond what words can say. I love you and thank you all so much. Please don't stop calling....i am so blessed to have you in my life.

Jake's Dad
03/16/2009 06:04

Family and Friends...... your love and support has been beyond description. You will never know how important and healing it has been for my family. I read and reread these stories of Jake and they bring a smile to my face and help us reflect on his wonderful, humorous life.
As you can imagine I have so many stories I could write all day. One story that we were laughing about the other night was when Jake was 2 1/2 - 3 yrs old and playing catch with Grandpa Ron in the back yard. Ron stopped after receiving the ball and was talking to Kari and I and giving Jake a hard time when Jake looks at him and in his high voice says "Throw the ball a**hole". Kari and I froze and Ron started laughing, of course Jake had no idea what he had said...he just wanted to play catch.
I struggle with the thought of why God called on him now, and I probably will forever, but reading everyone's stories of love and laughter helps me realize why my son was sent here and how he touched peoples lives. Thank you for the stories and keep them coming.

03/17/2009 06:07

Den, Kari, and Holly - I am so touched by all these wonderful entries and stories about your wonderful son Jake. When I talk about Jake to Grace I tell her about the time you guys gave us a babyshower for her and Jake came home, held Grace, and rubbed her earlobe nonstop. Gracie thinks that's funny and wonders why the earlobe? Kelsey will always remember thinking Jake looked like Richard Gere (I think she had a secret crush on Jakey!)and John and I will always remember him at the ballfield begging Kelly for gum and making witty comments to the guys! He was a wonderful person and will be missed by everyone he touched. I'm sure he's in Heaven right now asking God all the questions he had.

Please know we are here for you and if you need anything, anything at all just call.

We love you all very much!


03/22/2009 08:30

Dennis, Kari and Holly

I have always enjoyed the company of your family all the way to the beginning in 4th grade. Your home was always welcoming and comfortable because of the love that flowed within the family and I know it still does. I hope we can get together sometime soon and share some more stories. One of my favorites to tell is from 4th grade. It was during reading time and I was siting at my desk in the front row when out of no where Jake comes sprinting across the front of the room with his pigeon toed run. I looked up and all I saw was him tripping over the teachers stool and ended up upside down in the garbage can. He squirmed out of the overflowing garbage with tissues stuck to his face. He had the most disgusted look on his face, but he was laughing because he knew if it was anybody else he would have been laughing just as hard as I was. It is an honor to say that Jake was one of my closest friends for so many years and he always will be.

I hope to see or hear from you soon.

Love, Tony

Kacie Dougherty
03/31/2009 14:48

Knapp Family,

You guys are like my second family. I have always been around since me and holly became friends in the 6th grade. The first time i met jake he was very welcoming to me, he hit me in the head a few times with a work out ball. I was a lil intiminated. I was pretty shocked and scared on what ive gotten myself into. He always made me feel welcome though, and always put a smile on my face. All you guys were soo welcoming and always tried to make me talk to you guys. sorry about that. But now i can call you guys my family and no one deserves this, especially you guys. But i love you guys and i will prob see you in like one minute, cuz u guys r in the other room.


love always and forever

jakes mom
03/31/2009 15:27

.....just to let you know, I laughed out loud at your story (pigeon-toe). Thanks for making me laugh. Please keep in touch, I want so much to see where life takes all of you!

...what can i say to you. You have been this quiet presence in our family, that i have really grown to love. I am so proud of the woman you are turning out to be. I just love ya.

03/31/2009 22:27

One of the things I will cherish most about Jake was his unique ability to find humor and significance in the most mundane aspects of life. No subject was too ridiculous. His topics of discussion in a single conversation could range from the writings of David Foster Wallace to his feelings about penguins (‘I’ve always thought that they look so friendly in pictures, like they’re ready for a hug at all times’). With Cal by his side, Jake was free to spend hours, if not days, discussing everything and anything, from the ‘sandwich artists’ employed at their neighborhood Subway to Chowder’s many moods and aliases. Jake’s presence and distinct personality brought so much happiness and laughter into my life. Not only will I forever value our time spent together but also feel so lucky that he was part of my life.

As for Jake’s family, I truly can’t thank you all enough for everything. I see Jake’s humor, wit and personality within all of you and feel just as lucky that you’ve become a part of my life as well.

Always with love,

04/01/2009 06:40


Loved what you wrote. Thank you so much for sharing. I feel like he's here again after reading your entry.

It was such a pleasure getting to know you in the short time we had. You're a delight!

I posted my email above. I welcome any thoughts or guidance from your mom on heading back to school.

Take care of yourself and be happy. Your smile lights up the world.

- Kelly

04/01/2009 17:48

Holly, Kari and Dennis..
Like Kacie said you guys have been like a second family to me, you made me feel right at home and all of you made me more outgoing and more myself as time went on. My favorite memory of Jake is when I was letting Holly and Kylie dye my hair and he walked in, looked at me like I was an idiot, and told me I should be so scared!! He was just like the rest of you.. always making people laugh and feel welcome. I love you all :) Jessi.

Emma Tofte
04/01/2009 22:07

Jake- You were part of the family and you for surely knew it because you made your self right at home! from walking in the door without knocking with a big welcoming... "hello Toftes!" When noah was not even home you would come over. (I secretly liked that better so then I could talk to you without noah taking you away) I didn't get to see you when you came to visit the house for christmas break, Luke and I were out buying some last minute gifts. And those gifts don't matter one bit we both wish we didn't make that stop to see your smiling face,to hear your great stories and to see your glasses I always remembered you wearing. You will never fade you will always be here in our hearts.


04/15/2009 12:25

As the world continues to spin around you, I hope you find some comfort in the fact that those who know the Knapp family paused to reflect on the loss of a beloved son and friend to many.

I for one, can't imagine the loss and I feel your pain and sorrow.

So sorry...

Erika & Kris Slettedahl
04/15/2009 15:30

Dennis & Kari~

As this week marks the 6 week anniversary of Jake's passing, Kris and I were just remembering some of the great stories we heard about him and his "adventures". We are sad that we didn't get to know Jake very well but we are so thankful that Dennis is such a great story teller so we could re-live those times through his words (ie the Crown Royal bag in the ceiling, the internet mishap when he had to read what naughty things he wrote outloud to Kari and recently when Jake moved in Chicago and Dennis got stuck with the total bill). These stories bring smiles to our faces and we know that they do for you too even if it is through some tears.

We think of you everyday and pray that you have found strength to get through the day to day routines. Lean on friends & family....we are ALWAYS here for you!

Erika & Kris

Kim Wilke
08/05/2009 11:21

Dear Jake,

Happy Birthday!

I love you and miss you on this special day.

Love, Aunt Pook

08/25/2009 09:40

holly,kari & Dennis...
i will always remeber the good times we have had, as little as our family gatherings are, and should be more often.Everytime I was around the knapp family i always rembered wow i am blessed to have great family and always laughing and to see smiles, although i did not get the chance to get to know jake like i would have but would have loved to, i do remeber him being the funny guy, he was so great. I will never forget him, and will always be here for all of you and whoever else out there would like to know symptoms,seizures,advice or someone to talk to about having epilepsy or just some support i am willing to tell my story about what i had gone through when i was diagnosed with epilepsy and what i still go thourgh on a day to day.. again Holly,Kari & Dennis i will always be around if you ever need someone to talk to, along with anyone else out there. much love. i miss you jake.

Kylie Vadnais
10/01/2009 10:18

Kelly and the Knapps,

I cannot thank you enough for keeping this website updated and available for all of us. I find myself checking it out anytime I'm missing Jake, looking for pictures of good memories, or just for comfort. Jake changed my (as well as so many others) life forever and I'm so thankful for having him as well as all of you all in my life.

Much love,


12/25/2010 10:25

Merry Christmas Son........Mom, Holly and I are missing you so much. We feel you around us all the time. I get selfish and want to hug and hold you, and don't want to settle for "feeling" you. Right now we are a "3 legged chair" and we know some day we will all be back together. Continue to give us the strength to help others while we enjoy what this life has to offer. As you know, the love of friends and family always reigns supreme.



Sally Benjamin
03/02/2011 11:24

Dennis, Kari and Holly..

Paul showed me your message to Jake in the paper today. Am thinking about you today as you face another anniversary. Know that your friends and family are surrounding you today with love and support and you are in my thoughts and prayers as you reflect on the time you had with Jake! Blessings to you all!

Kelly nordstrom
03/02/2011 11:55

Not a day goes by that we don't think of you Jake. Our hearts are held tightly in our chests holding all of our sweet memories of you.

Love you today and every day,


Kylie Vadnais
08/05/2011 17:07

Happy Birthday!

Missing you on your day.



09/07/2011 14:59

Thank you for the messages...knowing that Jake is not forgotten makes my heart warm. The golf tournament is all about seizure awareness, but most important...that everyone has thought about Jake on that day. I miss him so much it hurts. He had so much to offer this world, his laughter, his quick wit, his debates, his hugs. He was the best hugger...he wasn't one that just tapped your back, he squeezed! What i wouldn't do for one more hug, one more kiss, one more "i love you". you, jake are in my heart always, always, always! mom

Matt Stephens
09/14/2011 07:44

What an awesome family and group of friends. I did not know Jake but I sure feel how great he was. I play softball with Dennis and he truly is one of the nicest people I have ever meet. God bless all of you.

10/18/2011 08:04

I had the pleasure to meet the Knapp family at the Socks & Sandals Golf Outing in July 2011. I was there because I had lost a loved one to SUDEP as well, my nephew Danny Stanton. Though I didn't have the pleasure to meet Jake, I could feel his his humor and compassion and intelligence and love for life when I met his family. As they do for my nephew, all of those wonderful traits live on in Jake's family, and in his friends, and they make the world a better place. SUDEP is a painful ordeal to experience, and the Danny Did Foundation thanks the Knapp family for raising awareness of it. We are proud to have Dennis and Kari as our Danny Did Ambassadors in Minnesota. We are stronger for it. Whether they live to age 5 or 22 or 70, people like Jake and Danny are a gift to those who have the chance to know and love them. And because of the work of the Knapps, they become a gift for many people who did not know them too.

Adrienne Richards
10/25/2011 21:00

I can not imagine the loss of a child. I lay awake so many nights worried that my son, who has night Seizures will not be awake when I wake up. My son had a stroke as a baby and has right side CP, he is a wonderful, loving kind boy, who sometimes struggles with his challenges, but forges on each day.
When he had his last seizure at night, I only knew because he said he threw up during his "shivers", after this I did not sleep soundly, and began researching help. I found The Danny Did foundation from whose web site I learned so much, and also became more aware or the dangers my son faces..why did no doctor tell me? I e-mailed the Danny Did Foundation and asked about the EMFIT movement/seizure monitor, they phoned me back and spoke to me about my fears and about the work that they do. The Danny did foundation offered to buy me an EMFIT monitor! How did they know I was a single mom with a low income as well as the desperate need to sleep? I have to say when I was offered one, I just started crying, who knew how much I had bottled up? I then heard that the funding came from The Socks & Sandals Golf outing! I am blessed to be on the receiving end of two wonderful foundations, that have turned the energy of an insurmountably sad event into a giving energy that will, and has, touched so many lives. I will not be able to express my gratitude in words. I have to say that I will sleep tonight, and I will also live each day better by holding The Danny Did foundation as well as Jake Knapp in my heart and know that my son was just given a better chance at life. I send you my blessings and gratitude, and know, that you have made a difference in my life.

Heather Gauger
10/28/2011 16:09

Hi there my son Kyler has epilepsy and he just turned five years old. The first thing I thought of when the doctor said epilepsy was of SUDEP. A dear friend of mine past away from SUDEP at 23 years old. I think that makes me even more paranoid about my sons night time seizures. He doesn't shake, he loses consciousness and becomes listless, his breathing becomes shallow. For the past three months Kyler has been sleeping in our room. The Danny Did Foundation supplied us with an emfit movement monitor for our son and though he is still in our room at bedtime we sleep and he sleeps a lot better knowing it's there. Recently Tom Stanton contacted me to say that the funds to supply Kylers monitor came from your socks and sandals event when I told him the monitor alerted us to Kylers seizure for the first time. I wanted to say thank you so much. Kyler no longer expresses his fear of sleeping because of his monitor. Yours family and the Stantons are doing a very beautiful thing here. I know Danny and your son are so proud of what their loved ones are doing for those suffering seizure disorders and epilepsy. So thank you thank you thank you.
Be well and God bless~
Heather, Christopher, Mickayla, Jaden and Kyler (East Hartford, CT)

Karla Corley
11/01/2011 09:29

To say Thank You will never be enough. Our son Jake is 3 and has seizures at night and absence seizures during the day. The fear of losing him consumes me some days. With help from you and The Danny Did Foundation, Jake now has an Emfit Monitor.
The love for your Jake just oozes from these post. It sounds like you raised an amazing young man. I am so sorry for your loss . Your family and the Stanton Family will be forever in our prayers.
I hope our Jake can help raise awareness for Jake and Danny and SUDEP. We will be trying our best to honor their lives.
Forever Thankful,
The Corleys
Larry, Karla, Lane and Jake

Lisa Riley
11/29/2012 11:57

I truly can feel your pain, it is Thursday November 29th 2012 and my son age 25 passed away on Monday from SUDEP. My heart is breaking for myself and other's that have gone through this. Why? he was on medication, I guess we'll never know but thanks to your son and hopefully in a little while my son will help other's in finding a diagnosis for this disorder. Thank you for your website, it helps me greatly! I had never heard the term SUDEP before and it will give me something to fight for. Lisa Riley (Mother of USMC retired Jordan Buisman)

Knapp family
01/20/2013 11:52

We are so sorry to hear about Jordan.Like you we were never informed of the dangers of SUDEP. Why this is not explained to the people and families inflicted with epilepsy is a mystery to us. By having this golf tournament we have been able to inform thousands of people about SUDEP. Teaming up with the MN Epilepsy Foundation and Danny Did Foundation has helped us understand how many families have been affected by SUDEP and sorrow it brings. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.


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    Hi, I'm Kelly, Jake's aunt.  I just wanted a holding place for people to heal and share. 


    March 2009

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