City, State: Medford, OR
Club: North Medford High School Sparrow Club Service Hours:
Date Adopted: 11/15/2013
At 7-years-old, Jared Ramirez-Ponce is once again in a fight for his life. This young warrior’s fight first began three years ago when he was first diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of childhood cancer called neuroblastoma. For well over a year, Jared endured various forms of treatment, including surgery to remove tumors from his body, high dose chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and a bone marrow transplant. Negative side effects from chemo and radiation treatment damaged Jared’s hearing and greatly weakened the bone structure in his jaw. As a result, Jared wears hearing aids and has had to undergo extensive dental work.
During his time in treatment, Jared and his family traveled to Portland from Medford every two weeks, creating a significant strain on family finances and life in general. However, after completing all of the exhaustive treatment, doctors no longer found evidence of cancer in Jared’s body. It appeared that Jared had won his battle with cancer.
In July of 2013, Jared began complaining about pain when he walked. Tests were done and the family’s greatest fear was confirmed. The cancer had returned, with test results showing cancer cells in Jared’s bone marrow, along with tumors on both hips. The frequent trips to Portland have resumed and since being re-diagnosed, Jared has endured 20 cycles of chemotherapy (with more to come), along with many CT scans and bone marrow taps.
In the midst of this devastating news, one thing has never left Jared…his warrior spirit and his iron will to fight. Shortly after restarting treatment, Jared told his father Juan, “Dad, I’m going to fight until the last spark is left in me.”
Jared will be adopted as a Sparrow to North Medford High School, the same school that adopted him during his first fight three years ago. Students will stand with and fight for Jared, working hard to raise money for him and his family through sponsored community service and fundraising projects.