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Image by Igor Kasalovic


Zain's Story

Zain won the “Making a Difference” award in the 5th grade. This achievement celebrated his empathy for others and became an important theme throughout his life. His mother, Linnea, taught him early to look for the person in the room who needed a friend and how much that gesture would mean. Zain learned at a young age how to use his strength and abilities to change a lonely situation. He never forgot that superpower.


In high school, Zain enjoyed fishing, playing basketball, spending time with his pets, life as a cautious daredevil with his lifelong friends, and building a relationship with his girlfriend Amy.


Even during a pandemic, he listened to his dad, Matt’s, advice to wear a tie for an interview at Chuck’s Produce and Street Market where he proudly landed his first job. Within weeks, he was promoted and became a favorite employee.


For six months, Zain experienced unexplained weight loss, nausea, and pain. Finally, at an emergency room visit, the air was sucked from the room when he and his parents, saw a spot on the CT scan and tumors in his chest. Zain was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on October 31, 2020. 


Zain battled the disease for a year, always wanting to be part of the conversation yet trusting

his family and doctors completely. He gave everything to the treatments without ever showing fear or anger; Linnea and Matt never had to ask him to fight. He was there the entire time for it. The experience transformed him from a teenager into a man as he bravely faced the truth that he would not overcome the cancer.


Zain didn’t want to miss out on marrying Amy. After he popped the question, his family planned a wedding within six hours, knowing that Zain didn’t have much time left. The ceremony was beautiful and gave Zain the happiest day of his life. Four days later, on September 29, 2021, his spirit left this Earth.


Even when experiencing pain, Zain always showed compassion, grace, and perseverance. His joy for life never left, even during the darkest moments. He made a difference during his life and will continue to do so forever.

Live Courageously   Laugh more freely   Love more deeply

Our Mission

Our Mission

The Zain Justis Foundation is committed to advancing research of treatments for kids and young adults diagnosed with rare forms of cancer, providing educational support through scholarships and patient centered programs so that others will have the chance to live Better Because of Him.

Zain Fishing

Get Involved

Join an event, volunteer, or make a donation. Your support helps us spread awareness, further research, and make the world Better Because of Him.

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