Jake is a 12 year superhero! He has been battling a brain tumour for 5 years now.
In summer 2012 the symptoms first appeared: recurring headaches, a persistent malaise, and then vomiting. In the SickKids emergency room, Jake’s parents, Patricia and Rod, were expecting news of a bad flu. But that October Jake was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour called ependymoma. Shortly after the diagnosis Dr. Peter Dirks removed what he could of the tumour, which had snaked around Jake’s brain stem, causing it to bend. Following the procedure, Jake was treated with three cycles of chemotherapy as part of a clinical trial. After imaging revealed some residual tumour tissue, Jake underwent a second surgery in January 2013.
The surgeries took their toll. Jake developed posterior fossa syndrome, a postoperative condition that disturbs speech and motor skills. He couldn’t swallow. He couldn’t walk.
Jake spent the summer and fall at home recovering. But by December, Jake and his family were devastated to learn that his cancer had relapsed in his spine. Jake endured 30 more rounds of full brain and spine radiation, and surgery in April 2014 to remove four tumours. Jake was in remission until late December 2015 when it was confirmed that his cancer returned in both his brain and spine. There was another surgery on Christmas Eve.
Jake was well until July 2017 when it was discovered that he had relapsed once again and has 5 tumours in his spine. Jake underwent 5 cycles of another hopeful clinical trial at Sick Kids but the tumours continue to grow. Sick Kids has no further treatment options to offer at this time. Jake and his family have decided to pursue a clinical trial in Georgia.
Sick Kids and the Ministry of Health have not offered financial support. This is a clinical trial of an experimental treatment, not yet proven or standard of care. This is where Jake's hope now lies. It will be a very costly battle Jake and his family now wage.
Please offer them your support.