A year and a half ago, our family received the worst possible news. The baby of our family, six year old Jake Ferrick, had Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma. This was the beginning of our horrible nightmare, and unfortunately we are all still living in that nightmare. Jake underwent sixteen months of cancer treatment at Galisano's Children's Hospital in Syracuse, NY. He had extensive chemotherapy for months, radiation treatment, two stem cell transplants, and immunotherapy. He lost a considerable amount of weight. He lost his ability to walk, and he was unable to attend school during his entire first grade year. We were so hopeful for the ending scans to show us that all this horrible treatment had taken away this nightmare. Unfortunately, our hopes disappeared when we found out that he still had extensive cancer left in his hip. Jake's doctors told us that they had done all that they could do for him, and he would have to be referred to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, one of the best Neuroblastoma Research hospitals in the country. Two weeks later, Jake and his parents were on the way to Philadelphia. While there he underwent a new treatment called MIBG therapy where radioactive medication was infused through his body to hopefully begin a new regimen of cancer therapy. He also had a genetic study of his cancer by taking a small sample of tissue from inside his hip bone. Apparently, Jake suffers from a mutated ALK gene which continues to produce cancer cells. The doctors in Philadelphia are putting Jake into a clinical study where he can receive a medication that may be able to turn off this mutated gene. But before he could qualify for the clinical trial, he had to be built up nutritionally. Since he has been unable to eat much during this year and a half of treatment, he has become very thin and weak, so he has just been given a nasogastric tube which will infuse nutrition into his body hourly. We are hoping and praying that this clinical trial will be the answer to our prayers and bring our little Jake back to us cancer free and healthy, but it is going to be a long drawn out uphill battle with many trips to Philadelphia starting again on December 4th. We have been so blessed to have received both financial and emotional support from our awesome family, friends, and community. The outpouring of love and support has been heartwarming over this year and a half. But, we are afraid that all these trips to Philadelphia will be a huge financial burden to our family in the long run. Angela and Jason, Jake's parents are very proud people, and have been extremely grateful to all the friends and family who have given them all this much needed support. When we realized that this long uphill journey was no where near to being concluded, God placed it upon our hearts to start this page to hopefully be able to help this wonderful family of five financially. Medical and travel costs have more than overwhelmed them. Any donations would be used solely for these purposes. We thank anyone who feels, in their heart, the need to give support to Jake, his parents Jason and Angela, and his siblings Christian and Vincenza. The entire family thanks you from the bottom of our hearts. May God bless you all.
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