Warriors for Jenna
This date marks day one of the fight to kill this cancer. This is a rare cancer that affects only a small amount of cancer patients. Out of the 566,000 cases of all types of cancer that occur each year in the US, only about 1,224 of them are ACC. Right now, we are in the research stage of the treatment plan. We are all researching doctors and hospitals from across the country and working together to decide on the best treatment plan.
What we do know...
* this cancer is extremely rare
* this cancer is not treatable by chemotherapy
* this cancer involves a very complex surgery
* this surgery involves the removal of Jenna's left lung, left bronchus, and a portion of her trachea
* this surgery is only performed by a few surgeons and may need to take place out-of-state
* radiation treatment is only a possibility after surgery
What we need from you right now...
* LOTS of PRAYERS!!! #prayerwarriors
* POSITIVE THOUGHTS!!! The power of positivity is so powerful!!!
* Patience and understanding, as we all work as a team of support to figure this out
Any monetary donation will go toward treatment plan research, out-of-network medical costs, and potential travel expenses associated with treatment.
As always, thank you so much for all of the love and support!
After 11 long months of fighting, our warrior lost her battle with cancer. Jenna passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune City, NJ. Jenna was surrounded by her most cherished loved ones in the hospital where she served as a Registered Nurse and Nurse Practitioner for over 14 years.
Jenna will always be known for the impact she made on so many others through her unwavering selflessness. She loved to share her passion for nurse care and spent much of her time ministering to others.
The visitation is from 4:00 to 8:00 PM on Thursday, March 22, 2018 at the Oakland Memorial Home. The funeral service will follow at 10:30 AM on Friday, March 23, 2018, at the Ringwood Community Presbyterian Church, followed by a private cremation.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Warriors for Jenna Foundation at 1916 Ship Court, Toms River, New Jersey, 08753, which was created to keep her spirit and memory alive forever.
Our family continues to be overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support we have received during this difficult time. We are so comforted by the stories of love, faith, and hope that are shared with us about our Sweet Jenna. Thank you for your continued prayers. #warriorsforjenna #prayerwarriors
It’s been quite a while since my last update. I apologize for the delay. During the past three months, Jenna has climbed yet another mountain in her fight against cancer. In late Fall, with persistent nausea and vomiting at an all-time high, Jenna was seen by a new GI specialist at NY Columbia/Presbyterian Hospital. This was the first doctor who had a possible fix for the nausea and vomiting and Jenna was ready to give it a try. On November 10th, Jenna received Botox injections directly into her lower esophageal muscle. The job of the Botox was to decrease or stop the ongoing esophagus spasms which were a large part of the reason for the nausea and vomiting. A few hours after the injections... Jenna was finally having some relief. It began to work!!! We were all so happy and Jenna was finally on what felt like the road to recovery. With the nausea and vomiting at bay, it was time to figure out what was going on with some of the other “new” symptoms Jenna had been experiencing lately. Jenna was having nerve pain that radiated from her shoulders and down her arm causing intense numbness and tingling. After a visit to her sports medicine doctor, thinking she had a pinched nerve, an MRI was done and the results were once again devastating. The MRI showed cancer on Jenna’s spine. Only this time, the cancer was wrapped around her spinal cord, putting pressure on the cord and causing her pain and numbness. On November 22nd, Jenna had surgery to remove the cancer from her spinal cord and surrounding area. This included the partial dissection of her C7-T1 spinal area. The surgery took place the day before Thanksgiving, leaving Jenna and family to spend yet another holiday in the hospital. While the surgery went as planned, Jenna’s recovery did not. Soon after surgery, Jenna once again began to have severe nausea and vomiting. This meant a longer hospital stay and after less than two weeks of being able to tolerate any “real” food, Jenna was placed back on liquid nutrition until she was strong enough to be released from the hospital. Finally, after another 12 days in the hospital, Jenna came home. Once home, the plan was to start radiation immediately to kill the residual cancer in her spine. In mid-December, Jenna headed back to Memorial Sloan Kettering to receive three high dose radiation treatments. We won’t know the success of this treatment until mid-February but are more than hopeful for positive news. With two surgeries behind her, Jenna was finally able to spend some time at home with family. She celebrated Christmas and New Year’s with loved ones and had a small glimpse of normalcy after 9 long months. Right after New Year’s, we met with her oncologist back at Sloan and Jenna made the decision to start immunotherapy treatments through a clinical trial. In the meantime, as I type, Jenna is currently in the operating room at Columbia receiving another round of Botox to once again combat the nausea and vomiting. Prayers that the Botox works again! This week, Jenna will go through yet another series of MRI and CT scans. She will meet with more doctors and finalize plans to begin her first round of immunotherapy next week. It has been a rough year and we are looking forward to positive news in 2018. As always, we continue to ask you all to keep Jenna in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you for your continued love and ongoing support. #prayerwarriors #jennastrong #faith #hope
Today marks six months since Jenna’s official day of diagnosis with ACC. It has been quite a journey since that day back in April. At the start of the summer, there were still lots of questions and uncertainty about Jenna’s treatment plan. We were all struggling to continually hear doctors tell us that Jenna had a “rare cancer” and there was “not a lot of research” to guide her treatment plan. You can imagine how frustrating this was. Shortly after the Hope Anchors the Soul Benefit for Jenna in mid-July (THANK YOU ALL AGAIN FOR YOUR AMAZING SUPPORT!) we set out in search of answers beyond the tristate area.
After a tremendous amount of research, we traveled to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota to meet with an oncology team. Fortunately, that team had some experience with ACC and they were able to provide lots of support and guidance on what next steps to take. Ironically, their advice was to seek two specific doctors back in NYC who were studying the treatment and cure of ACC!
So after returning home from Minnesota, we met with our new team of doctors at Sloan Kettering in NYC. They were AMAZING! We finally had a team who knew about ACC and who had some answers! We told our new team that before that initial meeting we had already planned to travel to MD Anderson in Houston, Texas for one more opinion. The doctors at Sloan encouraged us to still go. Even though we knew we had found the best team of doctors for Jenna, we decided to take their advice and travel to Texas.
In early August, off to Texas we went. However, Jenna was still struggling with ongoing nausea and vomiting which quickly worsened during our travels to Texas. Instead of attending our consultation appointment at MD Anderson, Jenna was admitted to their hospital because of debilitating gastric complications and severe dehydration. Only this time, being 1,500 miles away from home added to the stress and Jenna spent 8 long days in the hospital in Texas.
By the end of August, Jenna was finally back home in NJ and we were finally on the road to having a treatment plan in place! Once again we met with our amazing team back at Sloan Kettering and the decision was made to watch for measurable growth of the disease. Follow-up CT scans had been done in June and August, and will be done again in mid-November. Unfortunately, the gastric complications have increased and have become extremely debilitating over the last 8 weeks. Jenna has been seen by two gastrointestinal doctors with no relief. On Monday, we will visit with a specialized GI team at NY Presbyterian/Columbia in NYC. We are all hopeful that we can find some answers to these GI complications to provide Jenna with some normalcy before she heads back to Sloan for some more scans in mid-November.
We are so very blessed to have your ongoing love and support. To those of you who we have not yet thanked directly for your ongoing love, support and donations – THANK YOU!!! This is truly a team effort and we are SO honored to have you by our sides! As always, we ask that you please continue to keep Jenna in your thoughts and constant prayers. #prayerwarriors #jennastrong #faith #hope
My apologies for the delay in this latest update...
After 32 long days at Mass General Hospital in Boston, Jenna has finally been able to come back home to New Jersey. It is such a relief to have her home. However, the unfortunate reality is that her fight against cancer is not over. Latest test results have shown that Jenna will now need a more aggressive treatment plan. Jenna continues to struggle with gastric complications causing her to experience debilitating nausea and vomiting. While the plan was that Jenna would begin additional treatments this week, Jenna has instead been admitted to the hospital as she is suffering from extreme dehydration. To add, Jenna is also mourning the loss of her 11 year old fur baby, Max.
We are so very blessed to have your ongoing love and support. Looking for more ways to help? Please join us on July 15th from 3-7pm at Headliner Night Club for Headliners Hope Anchors the Soul: A Benefit to Support Jenna Wallace. Please follow below for more information. As always, we ask that you please continue to keep Jenna in your thoughts and constant prayers. #prayerwarriors #jennastrong #faith #hope
BIG hugs and prayers from all your friends at CRS.
Thank you so much for keeping us updated. Even though I did not know her, I, too, feel the shock and sadness that goes along with this news. As a fellow nurse, I feel I have lost part of our "family".
Jerry, Pauline, Merisa and to all those whose lives Jenna touched - my heart is truly aching at hearing the news of Jenna's passing. I feel so sad. I can't imagine what you must be going through. I will never forget the wonderful ski trip with Jerry, Merisa, Jenna and my sister Jo Ann, in Vail, CO, in 1991. Jenna and Merisa were just young teens and the time - very cute and sweet young ladies and such a nice family. Love you all. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Please let me know if you need anything. God bless you.
Continuing to hold Jenna close to my heart.
Thank you so much for the update! Prayers still coming from Long Island!
Sending much love and continued prayers to Jenna and the entire family, stay strong ♥
If you are open to adding some holistic treatment to the plan give Integrated Wellness Goup in Belmar a try. They have an amazing nutritionist on board, Brooke, who may be able to help with some of Jenna's gastric problems. They work along with traditional medicine and have a doctor and chiropractor on board also. Hoping for some relief soon for Jenna. (PS I have no affiliation with them other than I go to them myself).
You are doing the right thing by traveling around and getting other opinions. Be Jenna's advocate! Seek out any nutritionists that have experience with gastrointestinal health. Get as much information as you can and make a sound decision. Sounds like NYC Memorial Sloan Kettering is your best bet! I am from Minnesota originally and know of the tremendous resource we have in the facility of the Mayo Clinic.
Jenna, where do you work? We can try to pass this along on their website. Stay strong!
Praying for her continued improvment and release. Also praying for successful treatment once she returns to NJ.
I continue to hold you in my thoughts and prayers.
So happy to hear that the surgery was successful. She will remain in our thoughts & prayers.
May our loving Lord lay His healing hands upon her and give her the strength to fight for her healing.
Praying her surgery goes well
The went through before I was done... If I can help you in any way with research and finding hospitals, Please let me know.. I don't think you will find a better hospital in the world for airway disease other than BIDMC... He works with a lot of cancer patients as well. you have my prayers.. I am available through FB if I can do anything at all... IN the meantime I will be praying for you
, I have a rare airway disease that required extensive surgery on my airway my trachea and bronchial tubes. I was treated at BIDMC by Dr Sidhu Gangadharan.... He is the top adult surgeon in the world for tracheal and bronchial surgeries.... I have formed a Non Profit foundation called CureTBM.org that focuses on the airway and bronchial disease.
HI. I am a friend of your dad from Maidenform. My niece is an endocrinologist in Boston. If you need help in finding an oncologist, she may be able to help give some recommendations.
During your research you may want to check out the website The Trith About Cancer. There are a number of oncologists from around the country that contribute to this site that offer some "outside the box" therapies for rare cancers. I don't know Jenna personally but am so sorry to hear about her recent diagnosis. I wish her the best and hope your research will help to come up with a game plan to beat this horrible disease.
I am so sorry to hear this. Jenna, you are a strong woman and you can fight this. In my thoughts and prayers!
Been praying all day! I'll inform Gordon and will be donating soon. Our church will be praying for Jenna, also. She is a strong woman. She will heal! ❤