At nine months of age, Jackson started having a slight droop in one eyelid. His parents took him to an eye doctor, who suggested an MRI due to the possibility of a tumor, but a second opinion suggested to his parents that the odds of it being cancer were very slim, so they did not have an MRI at that time. A month or so later, Jackson had a cold and enlarged lymph nodes on the base of his skull. His pediatrician felt that considering these two occurrences, an MRI would be advisable. An MRI was performed revealing masses in Jackson's neck and chest region. On July 1, 2008, Jackson was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma*, and began chemotherapy. Jackson had a complete tumor resection in Manhattan in October 2009. After a week in the ICU, he was declared NED (No Evidence of Disease), and has remained so ever since. His parents feel truly blessed that he is currently healthy, but have been cautioned that the chances of the cancer returning are 50%. When Neuroblastoma returns, patients have very low survival rates, (15% over 5 years). Jackson and family feel blessed every day that he was diagnosed early enough before it had a chance to spread, and that they have this time to enjoy so much fun together.
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*Neuroblastoma, (NB), is a cancer of the sympathetic nervous system, a nerve network that carries messages from the brain. NB is a solid, malignant tumor that is found in the abdomen or around the spinal cord in the chest, neck, or pelvis. Typically, by the time of diagnosis, multiple tumors will be found. There is no known cure for NB, and recurrence rates are about 50%.