ALL NEWS

TikTokers organize record-breaking bid on a Christmas tree at the Festival of Trees

Dec 1, 2021, 2:40 PM | Updated: 2:41 pm
Portrait of Jocelyn Ducharme at the 2021 Intermountain Foundation Festival of Trees Photo: Intermou...
Portrait of Jocelyn Ducharme at the 2021 Intermountain Foundation Festival of Trees Photo: Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital and Intermountain Foundation

SALT LAKE CITY — Two Utah TikTok influencers rallied their social media network to raise a record-breaking bid of $50,000 for the Festival of Trees this year.

TikTok influencers’ fundraising efforts for a special Christmas tree

The bid rallied by JT and Brooklyn Laybourne was the highest the festival has seen in its 51 years, and it was all in honor of Jocelyn Ducharme, a young girl who passed away from brain cancer earlier this year.

Across the married couple’s two TikTok pages, their videos reach over 2 million followers. 

@jt_laybourneThe time has come… ALL our love for @team_jocelyn ##GivingSzn ##teamjocelyn♬ original sound – JT

For over two hours the Laybournes went live on TikTok calling for donations. They set a goal of $30,000 for Jocelyn’s tree. 

After only 37 minutes, the couple met and surpassed their goal. 

@jt_laybourne##duet with @team_jocelyn Here’s Jocelyn’s tree 😭 Donations are now live 🙏 ##GivingSzn ##teamjocelyn 💝 ##GiveWithAllYourHeart♬ Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Michael Bublé

In 2 hours, the TikTokers reached the goal of $50,000. According to a statement from Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital and Intermountain Foundation, the money raised crushed the festival’s fundraising record. The previous record was $27,000.

Jocelyn’s parents, Katelynn and Josh Ducharme, joined in the fundraising. They encouraged their audience to donate to the bid on the tree titled, “A Christmas for Jocelyn.”

7’6″ Christmas tree donated by CCD volunteers at PCH, and decorated by Julia Saxton. Photo: Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital and Intermountain Foundation

Over the course of the live video, they answered questions and shared fond memories of Jocelyn. Intermountain noted, that even some special guests, including the Jazz Bear, joined in.

@team_jocelynHead over to @jt_laybourne to register for tonight’s live! Help us get this tree in our home 😭♥️ ##teamjocelyn ##childloss ##christmas♬ Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Michael Bublé

The Laybournes are not the first TikTokers to draw attention to Jocelyn’s story. Her mother and Ogden-native, Katelynn Ducharme, has been using the social media app for years to tell her daughter’s story.

Jocelyn’s TikTok community

Ducharme hosts a TikTok account called Team_Jocelyn. She released her first TikTok on September 9, 2019 in honor of National Childhood Cancer Awareness month. The TikTok included video of her daughter in the hospital, smiling brightly. 

@team_jocelynSeptember is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month 💛🎗 ##childhoodcancerawareness ##braintumorawarness ##fighter♬ original sound – Katelynn Ducharme

 

Jocelyn was diagnosed with brain cancer on May 10, 2019. The cancer was Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor. The national cancer institute defines AR/TR as “rare, fast-growing cancer that usually forms in the tissues of the central nervous system.” This cancer typically occurs in children 3 years and younger. 

For 10 months, Jocelyn fought her cancer and was treated at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, and later declared cancer-free. But on July 13, 2020, she was diagnosed once again at 2-and-half years old. Just over two months before her 4th birthday, Jocelyn Ducharme passed away. 

Since the release of that first video, the Ducharme’s TikTok account has gained 1.7 million followers. People who follow Katelynn and her partner, Josh, see videos describing their experience with loss of their young daughter and how they move on by celebrating her life. 

@team_jocelynWe will also try live streaming the vigil on here & Insta for those out of state 🖤🕯##teamjocelyn ##childhoodcancerawareness ##childloss♬ see you later (ten years) – Jenna Raine

Jocelyn was born on December 3, 2017. She passed away on September 28, 2021.

The Ducharmes remain committed to using their platforms for community building around those with children suffering from cancer and those who have lost children. The Ducharmes indicate their participation in this year’s Festival of Trees is an extension of that and a way to commemorate their daughter.

Intermountain Foundation’s Festival of Trees

The Festival of Trees is a four-day fundraising event benefitting the Primary Children’s Hospital. Volunteers from the Utah community create and donate holiday décor such as Christmas trees, wreaths, gingerbread houses, and more. The donated items are then made available via the Festival’s Online Auction and Gift boutique. 

This year, a Christmas tree was donated and decorated in honor of Jocelyn by Julia Saxton. 

Today’s Top Stories

All News

After six years leading USU, and an overall 32 year career with the school, President Noelle E. Coc...
Simone Seikaly

USU President Noelle E. Cockett will step down

USU President Noelle E. Cockett has been part of the college's community for 32 years.
9 days ago
A national survey finds Utah the third safest state when it comes to drunk driving fatalities....
Simone Seikaly

Utah one of the leading states for low levels of drunk driving

SALT LAKE CITY — Forbes Advisor has ranked American states to determine which have the highest number of drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes. Their results put Utah third in the nation for the lowest rate of drunk driving. The District of Columbia and New Jersey each ranked higher than Utah when considering this data. […]
9 days ago
free transit rides...
Elizabeth Weiler

Free public transit rides come to Heber Valley

HEBER CITY, Utah — In the summer of 2022, Wasatch County Council approved a sales tax which is now providing funding for free public transit rides throughout Heber Valley.  Wasatch County and High Valley Transit entered a three-year, $3 million agreement to offer public bus transit services between Wasatch and Summit Counties, along with micro-transit […]
9 days ago
carbon monoxide poisoning...
Ali Litzinger

Carbon monoxide poisoning on the rise in winter months

SALT LAKE CITY — Winter is approaching and officials want people to know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. Last year, nearly 200 Utahns were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.  The flame in a gas appliance should generally be blue, with some orange. If the flame is mostly yellow, it’s giving off excess carbon monoxide.  […]
9 days ago
nichole olsen was shot and killed outside a nightclub in dowtown salt lake city over the weekend....
Elizabeth Weiler

Man arrested for murder in weekend shooting outside nightclub in Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY — A Southern Utah man has been arrested and booked into jail in connection with the shooting death of a Salt Lake City woman over the weekend. Nichole Olsen, 29, was shot and killed outside a nightclub near 300 S. West Temple in Salt Lake City around 2 a.m. Sunday. Police have […]
9 days ago
A “for sale” sign is displayed outside of a house in Layton. 
Photo: Shafkat Anowar, Deseret Ne...
Adam Small

Salt Lake seeing highest drop in home sales, national report finds

Utah's home sales are dropping fast according to a new national report. Prices have dropped by 48% in the last 12 months.
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
TikTokers organize record-breaking bid on a Christmas tree at the Festival of Trees