Upon meeting Jessie Claire, one would never guess she has spent over two and a half years battling a brain tumor. Her smile is contagious and brightens the lives of those around her. Jessie Claire finds much joy in being a “Chemo Buddy” and taking gifts to children at the pediatric cancer clinic. Her love and concern for others is an inspiration to all who know her.
As an infant, Jessie Claire was diagnosed with a Genetic Disorder called Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1). This genetic disorder is highly unpredictable and can cause tumors to develop any place along the central nervous system at anytime. The week of Christmas 2008, Jessie Claire was diagnosed with inoperable brain tumors along the optic pathway and hypothalamus. At 16 months old, armed with the strength and courage of God, Jessie Claire’s battle against brain tumors began.
Initially, Jessie Claire was set to receive chemotherapy for a little over one year. After the first 10 week “induction phase” of chemo therapy, Jessie Claire’s tumors had almost doubled in size. At that time, Jessie Claire began a different treatment regimen of 52 weekly chemo infusions. Just three weeks after celebrating the completion of this treatment, a MRI revealed that Jessie Claire’s tumors were growing for the second time. Jessie Claire then started a different protocol consisting of bi-weekly chemo treatments for one year. In October 2011, at the age of 4, Jessie Claire completed her 88th chemo treatment. As of January 2012, an MRI revealed Jessie Claire’s brain tumors were stable.
Although battling a brain tumor has consisted of lots of sickness, isolation, vision loss, tumor growth, heartache and tears, Jessie Claire and her parents are thankful for the many blessings from God throughout this journey. No one knows when the tumors will completely stop growing, but one thing is for sure, Jessie Claire is embraced by the love and grace of God and He will continue to carry her through the battle.