Jake's Superhero Brain Cancer Fight

Jake (The Jakester as he's known!) is the sweetest 6 year old boy whose childhood was turned on it’s head mid-September by brain cancer. Jake’s Mum has been my close friend since primary school back in South Africa and we have remained close all these years. Both our families now serendipitously live nearby on the Sunshine Coast where our children have become besties too.
 

Concerned with a few random symptoms, Nicole and Paul took little Jake to their family Doctor for a checkup and within minutes of walking in the door were given a bleak report. An emergency MRI showed a 3.5cm mass deeply intertwined in his brain stem and the prognosis was grim!

 

After a 7 hour surgery, only 70% of the tumour was able to be removed with the rest in too precarious a position.  A “Grade 1 Pilocytic Astrocytoma” (JPA) which, though labelled benign, is actually a form of rare cancer that is non aggressive, slow growing and contained to it’s location. The ramifications of this cancer are extensive and will likely impact Jake for the rest of his life:

 

·      His movement and balance are affected – specifically the left side of his body.

·      Increased pressure within his brain means his brain fluid does not flow properly to the rest of his body.

·      Vomiting

·      Headaches

·      Double vision due to the pressure of swelling of his brain to his optic disc

·      Muscle weakness

·      Possible seizures

 

Though not an ‘aggressive’ cancer, JPA is just as insidious as it hijacks Jake’s childhood filling it with immediate daily and ongoing physio, speech therapy, occupational therapy, surgeries, eye specialist appointments, hospital stays and cancer treatments. All the while Nicole and Paul have shut down their businesses to become full time carers for Jake. Not only is this a huge financial burden without any income but they’ve temporarily relocated to Brisbane (an hour and a half from home) while their 5 year daughter, Jake’s sister remains with friends back on the coast - not seeing her beloved Jake, Mum and Dad for a week at a time. Neither Nicole nor Paul have any family close by, only friends who are desperate to help.

 

Staunchly independant, they've granted me their reluctant permission to creat this campaign for everyone who's expressed helplessness but a desire to help. The most practical way to help this beautiful family is to fund Jake's cancer treatment and rehabilitation costs.


These funds are desperately needed & will go a long way for them:

·      Not only covering mundane expenses like rent and the rest of their regular bills without any income

·      Cover the continual and ongoing daily out-of-pocket expenses that their health insurance will not cover for Jake’s physical requirements: Physio, speech therapy, occupational therapy, medication.

·      Fuel driving backwards and forwards from the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane weekly to see their daughter and bring her to visit her big brother.

 

Currently (24 Sept) Jake is 6 days post op:

·      Under 24/7 nursing observation.

·      His eyes are improving in strength but double vision is consistent.

·      The entire left side of his body is going to need intense rehabilitation

·      The drain in his head is being constantly adjusted to challenge the fluid pathways in his brain and body to adapt it’s ability to reabsorb. This, combined with the MRI next week will determine whether or not he will require surgery to insert a shunt from his brain to his stomach.

 

The endless emergence of new, unanticipated obstacles that lie ahead of him are constantly challenging Nicole and Paul’s optimism but they never the less remain hopeful they will get their little boy back to a fully restored health and childhood.

Childhood cancer is unfathomable but to happen to a tender hearted little boy whose response to the nurse asking him if he would like them to remove his bandage was “Yes please, if it’s not too much trouble?”

Please support our friends by donating any amount that you can to ease the upheaval and heartache this has caused their otherwise, peaceful lives.

**As per Go Fund Me's T&C's: I've been good friends with Nicole since Primary and we continue to be close friends as we live near one another on the Sunshine Coast. All funds collected are going straight to Nicole and Paul's joint bank account, being distributed directly from Go Fund Me to them. I have merely set this campaign up for them. I have nothing to do with collecting the funds. Jodi x
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Organizer

Jodi Theisen 
Organizer
Peregian Springs QLD
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