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Jeremiah's Battle For His Life

$112,609 of $150,000 goal

Raised by 1,075 people in 3 months
Created April 4, 2018
Jeremiah’s Battle for His Life“Definitely the underdog here,” was how Jeremiah’s oncologist described his cancer. “Got to fight harder.” Preliminary pathology suggests that Jeremiah’s cancer is Osteoblastic Osteosarcoma, a bone cancer resistant to radiation.Jeremiah (16) is used to being the underdog. He suffered the loss of his mother to cancer when a little boy. His father is in fulltime ministry to abolish abortion, so financial struggles were a normal part of growing up. He’s from a large homeschooling family of thirteen brothers and sisters. The youngest of five brothers who all played football, Jeremiah learned to fight. Years of losing on the football field trained him to fight hard. His hard work paid off. He is an all-star, state champion. But it was his love for Jesus and the family ministry to abolish abortion that taught him to fight harder. Now he’s in the battle for his life. In July 2017, Jeremiah rededicated his life to Christ and was baptized at an Operation Save America ministry event in Louisville, Kentucky. In March 2018 he was diagnosed with cancer. The MRI revealed two tumors on Jeremiah’s spine, between zones T6 and T7. Picture a pair of hands pressing together, crushing his nerve endings. These tumors are in addition to the one in his chest. Without surgery, the tumors will cause Jeremiah to be permanently paralyzed from the waist down. With surgery, there is a still risk of paralysis because of the location of the tumors. He can also lose the ability to go to the bathroom normally. Finally, following a successful surgery there is no guarantee that Jeremiah will regain the mobility he’s lost. According to the neurosurgeon this type of surgery has a range of outcomes. Some patients regain the former use of their legs. Others do not. The goal of the surgery is to stop further paralysis.Following the surgery, Jeremiah will then face the monster of cancer. He has a tumor in his chest and two spots on his lungs. Jeremiah is in severe pain, without proper medication. His pain radiates down his back and around his side, so he cannot lie on his back or turn to the side. With the tumor in his chest, he cannot lie on his stomach. Often the only relief he finds is standing- but with the tumors in his back causing paralysis that is no longer possible.But as Jeremiah’s father, Rusty explained to the oncologist, “With God all things are possible.” Jeremiah’s bone cancer is aggressive. Whereas the tumor is his chest was a barely noticeable under his skin, it is now the size of an lemon that can be cupped in a hand. Its growth seems to have happened almost overnight; Jeremiah’s pain is growing too, radiating throughout his body. Jeremiah is a brave young man. There is no anger, self-pity or a woes is me attitude . He is more concerned about how others are feeling. When he sees his mother’s concern, he forces a smile or winks. When he sees a worried friend, he stops what he’s doing to pray for them. He posts daily Scripture verse to encourage those who are praying for him and who are following his story on social media. Jeremiah posted this prayer on Facebook:I don’t deserve Your healing but Lord You will always deserve my praise. Through death or life, may Your great name be lifted up and everything that is of me fall to the waste side. Oh Lord, strengthen me that I may fight the battle with a courage Satan cannot tamper with. If You take me home or leave me here to fight a little longer, may it be Your breath in my lungs and Your song on my tongue. Lord I consecrate myself to the full advancement of the Kingdom of God! Lord, I love You and I can’t wait to see You face to face. Amen.As you can imagine, fighting this battle is taking resources the family doesn’t have. Your love, prayers, and support are greatly appreciated.Matthew 19:26 reads, "Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible'.”The Thomas nation’s stand is simply, they are entrusting the life of their son to the Lord. They believe for a miracle. But even if, that does not take place, they want everyone to know, their faith in Jesus Christ is not for sale and non-negotiable. To God be the glory, no matter what the future holds.
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Gov. Abbott granted Jeremiah Thomas (16) his dying wish. He called Jeremiah yesterday and promised to help abolish abortion in Texas.

The Governor was gracious with his time. He listened to Jeremiah's testimony and encouraged him in his faith. Jeremiah said that the Governor was "compassionate and receptive."

Jeremiah shared his heart regarding abortion. He appealed to the Governor to protect preborn babies by completely abolishing abortion by treating it as murder and penalizing it by law in the great state of Texas.

Prior to the call, the Governors wife, Cecilia, reached out to Jeremiah through Facebook. She sent prayers and hugs. They both demonstrated genuine Christian love and concern for the plight of our son.

#Godsgotthis
#AbolishAbortionTX
#GovernorAbbott
#MakeAWish

www.operationsaveamerica.org
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After 48 hours at home, Jeremiah is back in the hospital. Are hearts are broken. They feel the way Jeremiah’s tumor looks- bruised and broken.

Jeremiah spent the night in ER. He’s been admitted to the pediatric section. He developed a fever yesterday. Because he recently had chemo, his immune system is compromised. That means any infection is dangerous. It also means Friday’s scheduled chemo is off.

But there’s a larger issue. A growing issue. It’s the tumor exploding from Jeremiah’s chest.

The cancerous tumor growing under his skin has broken through. It’s bleeding continuously. It’s oozing. It’s painful. His ulcerating wound reminds me of the wounds of Job.

‭”And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself with; and he sat down among the ashes” (Job 2:8).

Ulcerating cancers are rare. Most people with cancer never get them. My sweet boy has a monster of one.

The oncologist just left.

He is still unsure what caused the infection. He’s waiting on the blood work to come back. There’s a possibility it was caused by the open wound in his chest.The question before the oncologist is what to do about the growing, bleeding tumor.

Ten weeks ago, oncologists at Mclane’s Children’s Hospital told us Jeremiah has osteoblastic osteosarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer. Because it had already spread, Jeremiah was given a 10% chance of survival. Surgery was performed on his back to preserve his ability to walk and his quality of life. The tumor grew back, and with it the dreaded paralysis from the chest down. No surgery was performed on Jeremiah’s chest; instead we sought alternative treatment to beat the odds.

The surgeons at Angeles Hospital in Tijuana did not want to operate on the tumor in Jeremiah’s chest for fear that he would not survive the surgery. But neither would he survive the bleeding in his lung caused by the growing tumor.

Which brought us to the PICU at Rady’s Children’s Hospital in San Diego. The medical team there stabilized Jeremiah but was unwilling to operate on the tumor for various reasons.

When MD Anderson admitted Jeremiah, surgery was on the table. In fact, the date was moved up by the oncologist to “get ahead of the cancer.” But the surgeons said no. The recovery time of three weeks would enable the cancer to spread, making surgery counterproductive. In order for surgery to take place, more chemo and more tests would be needed to prove the cancer was responding to treatment. So far, there’s not enough conclusive evidence.

Jeremiah was sent home, with the understanding that a hospital closer to us would be able to provide the same outpatient chemo if we chose to pursue it.

Which brings us back to Mclane’s Children’s Hospital.

And last night.

What to do? Someone on the medical team suggested the tumor be “debulked.” But when the surgeons examined Jeremiah’s tumor they advised against it. The ulcerating wound would not heal, they said. Surgery is not an option.

The hospital is tracing the infection through lab work. Jeremiah’s kidneys are being checked to make sure they are strong enough for another round of chemo. Finally, a CAT scan is scheduled for later to determine if the cancer has responded to treatment. If not, then chemo and surgery are impossible. But, as the oncologist explained to Jeremiah, “Because we are giving up on chemo doesn’t mean we are giving up the fight.”

We still have two options left- God’s miraculous healing touch and the wholistic treatment waiting for Jeremiah at home.

Throughout his disease, throughout his suffering, Job never doubted God. His response was, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 3:15).

Please pray for Jeremiah. His suffering continues but he trusts in the Lord.

#GodsGotThis #JeremiahStrong #RiseUp #PrayForJeremiah
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Update on Jeremiah's bill at MD Anderson. This is their reply to my request for the amount we still owe.

RE: outstanding balance
Review of your account the total balance as of today $330,677.38.

Kind regards.

Norma G.

O well, God's promise remains. He shall meet all our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus!
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Bringing the fight home ❤️ #GodsGotThis #JeremiahStrong #IWantToFight

Yesterday marked ten weeks to the day Jeremiah (16) was told his sports injury was really a malignant tumor in his chest.

It’s not been an easy road, with Jeremiah’s bone cancer and the paralysis caused by his back tumor.

But your prayers are touching the heart of God.

In our suffering, we see God’s mercy all around us. He’s guiding, providing, comforting. People are praying. Fasting. Sending cards. Visiting the hospital. Mailing care packages. Donating equipment. Offering financial help. Sharing testimonies. Giving advice. Blessing us with wholistic supplies. Worshiping Jesus with us.

If there is any beauty in the ugliness of Jeremiah’s cancer, it’s seen in the unfailing love of God and the army of Christians who have rallied to his fight.

Thank you ♥️

Jeremiah recovered from the side effects of his chemo drug and was able to leave the PICU. He’s now back in the regular pediatric ward.

He had his last chemo for this round. He also had his final radiation. When he was done with his radiation he rang a bell in the hospital to signify the end of treatment.

We also found out yesterday that Jeremiah will not be having immediate surgery on his chest tumor, as we had expected. This is disappointing.

Osteoblastic osteosarcoma is an aggressive type of bone cancer that begins in the cells that form bones. Osteoblastic is one of the fastest growing types of osteosarcomas. It is considered “high grade.”

The oncologist thought it would be best to “get ahead of the cancer,” break with protocol, and perform surgery on Jeremiah’s chest prior to more chemo. However, the surgeon did not agree.

Like the surgeons in Tijuana, the surgeon at MD Anderson is unwilling to perform the surgery. Recovery time from such an extensive surgery would take three weeks. The cancer could spread quickly in the time it would take Jeremiah to recover. Time is precious. Three weeks could literally cost Jeremiah his life.

If surgery is to happen, we first have to show that the chemo is successful. That means another round or two of chemo and extensive tests.

We also learned that the hospital is sending Jeremiah home on Monday. We were first told it would be Friday but his physical and occupational therapists advocated STRONGLY on behalf of Jeremiah. They managed to convince the medical team at MD Anderson to keep Jeremiah until Monday so they can cram necessary therapy into the weekend.

The difficulty for us isn’t just that Jeremiah is battling for his life.

Jeremiah is also dealing with paralysis from the chest down, caused by the tumor’s growth in his spine. The nerve damage effects his abdominal and back muscles. The new growth in his back means Jeremiah is now a T6 paralytic.

The brain and the spinal cord make up the central nervous system. The spinal cord carries messages from the brain to the body. There are motor and sensory “tracts” the nerve endings travel. The spinal tumor has compressed the nerves. Since Jeremiah’s surgery (to preserve his legs) was unable to completely remove the tumor, the cancer has grown back. Its creeping lengthwise up and down his spine. It’s now covering area T4 to T8.

The tumor growth is roughly at chest level in Jeremiah’s spine. This means he’s lost control over his core, in addition to his legs. This makes even the smallest activity difficult. We are praying the radiation kills the cancer in his back. If the tumor continues to grow, Jeremiah is in danger of losing control of his arms too.

With his spinal cord injury comes a whole set of complications- loss of muscle mass, infection, cardiovascular and respiratory issues. Jeremiah has lost more than his ability to walk.

The day before he lost his ability to walk, Jeremiah delivered the Easter sunrise sermon at our church.

He preached, “In resurrecting Jesus from the grave, God reminds us of His absolute sovereignty over life and death...In my personal life, the resurrection is everything to me. If there is no resurrection I’m to be pitied. There’s no point to hope. No will to fight against the things that ail me. It wasn’t enough that Jesus was beaten, scourged, and crucified. The resurrection validates the sacrifice. It proves that he is...the Messiah. It proves he’s the Almighty God is the flesh. It proves that death is not the final answer and there’s eternal life to those who believe.”

The following day we rushed Jeremiah to the ER. Things have been changing for the worst ever since. But just as he preached, it is the resurrection of Jesus Christ that gives him the “will to fight.”

One moment Jeremiah’s fight is against excruciating pain, then it’s the diagnosis, then it’s the metastasis, then it’s the 10% survival rate, then it’s the paralysis, then it’s the regrowth. But Jeremiah keeps fighting. When cancer knocks him down, he prays and gets back up.

Now the fight’s coming home.

We’re not sure what Jeremiah’s future looks like. But we know when he returns home, his family and friends will be waiting to love him and help him. We also know we’ll be focusing on holistic treatment.

One of the oncologists explained, “Curing Jeremiah’s cancer is very challenging.”

Challenging. Yes.

But we have a Champion on our side.

And He’s already conquered death.

Whether he lives or dies, Jeremiah has been given the victory through Jesus Christ.

When Jeremiah was told of his diagnosis, he wrote this prayer on Facebook:

“I don’t deserve your healing but you’ll always deserve my praise. Through death or life may Your great name be lifted up and everything that is of me fall to the waste side. Oh Lord, strengthen me to fight the battle with a courage Satan cannot tamper with. If you take me home or leave me here to fight a little longer, may it be Your breath in my lungs and your song on my tongue. Lord, I consecrate myself to the full advancement of the kingdom of God. Lord, I love you and cannot wait to see you face to face. Amen.”

It’s because Jesus is his Champion that Jeremiah can pray “to fight the battle”...even if the fight takes his life.

“‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).
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$112,609 of $150,000 goal

Raised by 1,075 people in 3 months
Created April 4, 2018
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