Navigating the journey with cancer; how the Cancer Kids Fund supports kids like Jack
Meet Jack! About six months before his second birthday, he got sick and just couldn’t seem to get any better. In January 2016 he contracted pneumonia and had a hard time getting over it. He continued to have fevers, thrush and many viruses. Jack’s mom Bria says they had to cancel his second birthday party with family because he was so sick.
“We thought it was due to normal childhood viruses and he was just building up immunity,” she explains. The two weeks leading up to his diagnosis Jack and his family were in the clinic every other day trying to figure out what was going on. They finally made the decision to take him to the emergency department at Children’s to have some tests done.
After a day of tests, scans, and X-rays, Jack was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). “It was heartbreaking and devastating to hear,” Bria says. “At the same time, I was going through a miscarriage and needed to go to my doctor to get an evaluation. My grandfather had also passed away the weekend prior. I couldn’t believe the devastation of that day and week.”
The next morning Jack had a bone marrow biopsy, which confirmed that he had ALL. Jack would then start his treatment at Children’s, beginning with a chest port for chemo administration and blood draws. He would receive daily chemo at the hospital for a few days before going home and receiving outpatient treatment.
“The first few days, weeks and months were a blur. There was so much uncertainty of not knowing if Jack’s cancer would go into remission, how he would handle it all, and just the reality that having a two-year-old with cancer is not an easy task,” Bria says.
At the beginning of his treatment, Jack saw the hospital as a scary place. But thankfully, Jack’s family is just one of many that have been impacted by the generosity of donors who support the Cancer Kids Fund. “The Cancer Kids Fund helped bring some relief and joy to our family during such a hard time,” Bria says. Their family was supported with everything from parking passes and meal vouchers to toys, games to help pass the time.
When a child is diagnosed with cancer, their whole world is turned upside down. The Cancer Kids Fund helps support families with the little things that make a big difference. This September, we hope you will show your support for families like Jack’s, and donate to this important resource for families at Children’s Minnesota.
Jack’s cancer went into remission after the first month, but with all ALL patients, the treatment process can sometimes take years; often 3+ years for boys. Jack continues to receive care at Children’s once, sometimes twice a month. He also sees rehabilitation specialists at the Children’s Minnetonka clinic every other week. “Jack still has tough weeks after treatment and about a year left to go,” Bria explains. “It is a long journey, but we are so glad we are receiving such good care at Children’s.”
Shine Bright for Kids this September, and help kids like Jack. Participate today!