Jessica loves the serene lifestyle of the beautiful Texas countryside, but also enjoys the euphoric atmosphere of country music concerts. She is an avid cook and baker. She enjoys cooking southern comfort style food, but her favorite creations are desserts, anything from simple cookies and cakes to complex crÃ¨me brulees and, everyone's favorite, cheesecake. Sharing these creations with her family brings her great joy. It is a sentiment that is easily reciprocated. Jessica is also a crafter in every sense of the word. She crochets, sews, scrapbooks, and paints. Her designs are very popular among family and friends and friends of friends. And as a result, there are a fair number of Houstonians modeling her creations.
On June 24th, 2010, at the age of 18, Jessica was given news that no one wants to hear. She was diagnosed with a rare type of sarcoma known as Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor, or GIST. Soon after her diagnosis, she began treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Her journey has been difficult, but through it all, Jessica's faith has never waivered and her positivity stands strong. Her life motto, "Free and Easy Down the Road I Go", stays with her, and she carries on with grace and faith, knowing that God is leading her to beat this cancer one day soon.
Jessica's journey is one to teach us all that in life, everyone needs a tremendous amount of faith, a great sense of humor, and most of all, a good pair of cowboy boots to travel down our path. With these things, we can move mountains. We can beat cancer, once and for all. "Free and Easy Down the Road I Go."
More About Jessica's Diagnosis
Jessica has a very rare type of sarcoma known as Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor, or GIST, involving her stomach, liver, lung, and other areas of her abdomen. Most gastrointestinal stromal tumors have a gene mutation that makes them easy targets for treatment with oral chemotherapy known as Gleevec or related medications. Unfortunately, Jessica's tumor does not have the gene mutations that make it easy to treat; rather, her tumor is classified as a "wild-type" GIST.
Although Jessica has had some success with traditional GIST therapy, it has not been an easy road. These medications also make her very prone to bleeding. She has been hospitalized with life threatening bleeding ten times and has required transfusions with 95 units of blood in less than 2 years. During her last admission to the hospital, Jessica was told her chemotherapy was no longer working. Jessica and her medical team have decided enough is enough. She needs a new approach. And that approach is a clinical trial in Philadelphia.
This is where you come in. We need your help to get Jessica to Philadelphia to pursue a clinical trial for Linsitinib, an oral chemotherapy that is suggested to be effective in wild-type gastrointestinal tumors, like Jessica's. You can read more about the trial by clicking on the following link: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01560260.
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