I have received a few inquiries from those of you who were moved by Jack’s story last month, wanting to know what has happened since then. Jack had a very busy month in March. Around the middle of the month, he and his mom completed one of the Dreams by jumping out of an airplane…with skydiving gear of course. Then he got baptized (this photo is from the baptism day). He also stopped by at our house for an afternoon to play with Dominic and all his buddies from up and down our street. Angela asked, and the Johns Creek Fire Department agreed, to bring their huge platform truck to our house and gave Jack a special tour of the truck and let him operate some of the equipment.
Then, with a generous donation from Atlanta Braves pitcher Tim Hudson, Jack and his whole family went to New York City because one of the Dreams was to visit the worlds biggest toy store. He paid a visit to the Toys R Us and the FAO Schwartz in New York, along with visiting many of the other attractions in the city.
Throughout this time, we kept trying to figure out when Spacecamp was going to happen, and as March came to an end, they were looking at the first full week of April (the one we are in now), but unfortunately cancer had a different plan. Jack started to experience a lot of swelling in the leg where his tumor has been growing and had to be admitted to the hospital for a few days. Without going into all the details, the short version is that the tumors created by his Neuroblastoma are aggressive and growing fast, and his little body has been so weakened by the years of chemotherapy toxins that he is suffering physical injuries just from the pressure of the tumor pushing against bones, joints, muscles and blood vessels.
Sadly, SpaceCamp is one Dream that is not going to happen for Jack. That makes me sad because it shows that all the love, all of Jack’s optimism, all the money, all the determination, and all the willingness of everyone involved in this effort was not enough to overcome the march of cancer cells. As if it wasn’t cruel enough that the disease will steal his life, it has claimed some of his Dreams too.
His mom has asked me to share a story with you though about how the money you donated has helped Jack. He loves to watch nature videos, but the TV in their living has been broken and could not display the videos, so whenever he wanted to watch shows about his whales or birds, he had to go into his bedroom. But that created a conundrum for him because he felt isolated and alone in his room. So, when his mom realized they could not go to SpaceCamp, she invested in a new TV for the living room and set Jack up with a spot on the couch for him, Moo Moo and their dog so he could stay close to the family, and watch his videos. He has been on morphine most of the day for the past week or so to control the pain caused by that giant tumor pressing against his joints and muscles, so he has spent a lot of time resting.
His mom was also able to negotiate his cooperation with painful and uncomfortable hospital treatments by offering toy shopping. Apparently, he set the toy denominations and decided every time something happened that he didn’t like, it would cost her 5 toys. She tells me that by the time they left the hospital, he was glowing because he was “charging” her 60 toys for everything that happened. They went to straight to Toys R Us and she used some of the money from our fundraiser to fulfill 11 of the “debts.” Typical Jack though, he made sure that some of the toys he picked out were for his little sister.
Thank you again to everyone who contributed to his Dreams. Your money is not being wasted and although Jack may never know what you did for him, you have helped to make this part of his life a little easier. Thank you.