Condition: Spinal Cord Tumor
City, State: Ashland, OR
Club: Helman Elementary School Sparrow Club Service Hours:
Date Adopted: 4/11/2014
At eight years old, when most kids are out expending their energy, Jack was struggling to do simpler things, like walking. In January 2013, Jack’s mom noticed he wasn’t putting pressure on his right foot and was favoring his left hand over his right. She decided to take him in for a brain MRI. Afterwards they were told to go to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital for a spinal MRI. The results were shocking. Jack had a rare, aggressive tumor in his spinal cord. Days later, he had surgery to remove most of the tumor, but this left his spinal cord inflamed and the inflammation caused him to lose function of his arms and legs. He had to do physical and occupational therapy to relearn how sit, stand, and finally walk. On February 19, Jack started radiation, along with chemotherapy, followed by months of infusions. MRI’s throughout the year showed no change in the size of the tumor. In December an MRI showed progression of his tumor, weakening of his vertebrae in his neck, and a forward curve. In January 2014, he started a new clinical trial of infused chemo with hopes of stifling and even shrinking the tumor. A second surgery was not an option.
Jack’s treatment and testing is mostly done in Portland, so the family travels there frequently. Some trips are only for the day while others last weeks. Jack’s mom is a teacher and was able to work full time while Jack was going to school. Because of Jack’s condition and his treatment, she is only able to work part time.
Now, at 10 years old, Jack has an inner strength and wisdom that is usually only found in people much older. His love for life and his family have brought him through the toughest of times. Although Jack has been through a lot, he still has a sense of adventure and loves being outdoors. He also loves playing the piano, Lord of the Rings, and of course, his beautiful little sister Alex.
Jack will be adopted as a Sparrow to both Helman Elementary (where he attended) and Ashland High School. Students will work hard to raise money for Jack through sponsored community service and fundraising projects.