Like most teenagers, Jeffrey enjoyed spending time with his friends and playing video games until he started feeling sick in the fall of 2014. When he began vomiting every day, mom Tammy became concerned. They made several trips to the emergency room, but doctors couldn’t find anything wrong. One day, Jeffrey started vomiting blood at school. Tammy immediately took him to a different hospital, where they discovered a tumor in his brain.
Jeffrey underwent surgery at Northside Hospital to remove the tumor. A biopsy revealed that it was cancerous, and he was officially diagnosed with medulloblastoma on October 6, 2014. Medulloblastoma is a cancerous tumor that starts in the region of the brain at the base of the skull. It is the most common malignant brain tumor of childhood and accounts for about 20 percent of all childhood brain tumors.
Shortly after the diagnosis, Jeffrey started radiation and chemotherapy treatment that continued over the course of two years. In 2016 he relapsed, which meant more surgery, radiation and chemo. In 2017, Jeffrey relapsed for the second time. He was placed in three different clinical trials, yet nothing seemed to work. Currently, Jeffrey is under hospice home care.
Jeffrey’s cancer diagnosis and subsequent relapses have been challenging for both him and his family. As a single mom, Tammy not only cares for Jeffrey, but for her other son, who has autism and a mild case of cerebral palsy. “It’s tough for me being a single parent,” she shared. “I have lost my job, my house, my car…we are stable now, but I’m on an FMLA to take care of my son. I would do anything I need to do to take care of my boys.”
Despite his tumultuous journey, Jeffrey remains in good spirits. “He always talks about the future,” Tammy said. “Jeffrey is amazing; he’s such a good young man. I just want everyone to know that.”
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.