Hearts for Jacob

This is Jacob. He is a typical teenage boy who’s into computers, music, and just hanging out. He’s a son, a brother, a grandson, a cousin, a boyfriend, and he’s my 16 year old nephew.

On November 9, 2017 we thought that Jake would be going in for a surgery to remove a mass on his left foot but were devastated to find out that he has cancer. It was a long and frustrating day as emotions ran on high and disbelief set in. Tests had to be run in order to make a proper diagnosis.

Fast forward 3 weeks through bouts of tears, fear, talks, prayers, and unimaginable waiting to a malignant nerve sheath tumor. More tests are now being done to determine if the cancer has spread and figure out how the tumor is going to respond to chemotherapy and if it’s going to shrink enough to be removed. As of right now it’s a very real possibility that his foot may have to be partially or fully amputated.

In the blink of an eye my typical nephew just became not so typical. He’s scared and he’s vulnerable and our family is struggling to understand why this is happening to him. He’s a great kid who’s funny, smart, personable, kind, loving and has endured more heartaches than any 16 year old should have to.

My sister in law Sherry is doing her absolute best to be strong but it’s too much to bear alone so I’m asking for as much support for them as I can possibly get. She’s a single mom who’s on disability and has health issues of her own with multiple hospital stays but would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. She knows what it’s like to be in need so she’s always willing to help someone else even when she’s in crisis. She also cares for her elderly mother and the weight of Jacob’s diagnoses is too heavy for her to continue without assistance.

Jake has a long journey ahead of him and there’s going to be triumphs as well as setbacks and she needs to focus on giving him the best care possible. No parent should have to struggle to keep a roof over their sick child’s head.

Currently she will need her rent paid. Even if it’s just for a month, that’s a month of less worry of how she’s going to provide. She’s going to need to make sure her car, insurance, and gas are paid for so that she can make the long trips to children’s hospital in Los Angeles. She’s going to need to pay for food and possible lodging for those days she’s waiting for his treatments to be completed or when he’s too sick to go home. She’s going to need to cover any unexpected or out of pocket expenses that may arise during his care.

I know that there are hearts out there for Jacob. Even if you are unable to donate please share his story and offer up prayers. Anything and everything helps! The holidays are here and I would like Jake to know that there are people out there rallying for him and to remind him of all the good, caring people in this world and to never give up hope.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!

Updates to follow!

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Marlena Renee Paez 
Pico Rivera, CA
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