Rally Kid Jaci was a perfectly healthy and active five-year-old girl when she began having headaches during her kindergarten class. One weekend, Jaci came down with a headache that was much worse than the others—she began vomiting, having stomach pain and having double vision.
“We took Jaci to her first ER visit ever on a Saturday,” shared her parents, “where we ended up being told that she was fine and to follow up with her primary physician that Monday. Wanting to believe this was true, our hearts knew differently.”
Jaci remained sick that weekend and by that Monday morning, one of her eyes was crossed inwards. That moment was confirmation of what her parents had known in their hearts those last few days. They took Jaci back to the same ER, where they took one look at her and immediately sent her for a CT scan. The test on October 15, 2019 confirmed their fears: Jaci had cancer.
“I was told Jaci had a very large brain mass in the middle of her brain called pilocytic astrocytoma, and things didn’t look good,” Jaci’s mom said. “Our local hospital could not treat her, so she was flown by helicopter a few minutes later to Children’s Hospital of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. She was admitted into the PICU upon arrival. We were told as soon as we got there that if they did not operate, this tumor would take Jaci’s life.”
Two days later on October 17th, 2019, Jaci had a tumor resection which took almost nine hours to complete. The surgeon was able to remove a little less than 50% of the tumor. The rest is and will always be inoperable. Jaci’s tumor was later determined to be a JPA (low-grade glioma).
Thankfully, Jaci recovered quickly and without any complications. She began treatment and returned home to start their “new” life. Cancer, thus far, has only affected Jaci’s ability to attend dance class due to her chemo port. She continues to enjoy everything she did before she started treatment as best as she can.
“Our family, as well as Jaci, do not consider our new life to have any challenges,” Jaci’s family said. “We make a way for unexpected events and just accept them and find a solution. We are so grateful that Jaci gets to be here with us, that even the small things that others would consider challenges, to us are just another milestone in Jaci’s journey.”
Every child who has been diagnosed with childhood cancer inspires us to Rally On to find better treatments with fewer long-term side effects and, ultimately, cures. Please join us in the fight against childhood cancer by making a donation or setting up your own Rally fundraiser today.