Jessica

 

Jessica was an energetic, athletic, life-embracing, spit-fire with an old soul and a positive attitude. She was an honor student, and had a gift with both children and animals. She was an avid swimmer and hoped to make the Junior Olympics, but she developed a bump on her leg when she was 7 years old, and within a week, had a biopsy that revealed alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive cancer with a 30 year old treatment plan. It was March 2006. She began a 43-week chemotherapy regime. She had limb salvage surgery on June 21, but during the next 9 days in the hospital, with excruciating pain, the foot and lower leg died, and she had an above-knee amputation on June 30th to remove her legómuch to her relief. She bounced back quickly from the amputation. She continued to attend school when feeling up to it, and was undaunted by hoping around on one leg. Nothing could stop her from living life to its fullest! She received her prosthetic leg in November 2006. She worked hard in PT so she could get back to basketball. On February 14, 2007, Jessica completed treatment and made it to remission. Jessica was unstoppable. She went hunting, rock climbing, rode motorcycles and horses, hiked, swam, played sports, and LIVED! She nicknamed her prosthetic leg "Elvis," and was doing very well with it. Through the fall, she felt her cancer was back. She had lung and breathing pains, exhaustion, a lump on her back, headaches and vomiting. Scans on November 28, 2007 did not reveal anything, and she was still declared in remission. She spoke out about kid's canceródoing radiothons, interviews and helping with fundraisers. She also bravely taught elementary school students about disabilities, sharing her experiences and displaying her stump and prosthesis. CT scans over the next nine months showed small nodules in her lungs. In April, 2008, it was clear that she had relapsed; she had surgery to remove a tumor, and again began a 9-month chemo regimen. Relapse has a 20% five-year survival rate, but the amazing Jessica defied the odds and made it to remission again in December 2008, only to relapse again in late August 2009. This time, the cancer was wrapped around her heart, in her spine, lungs, and lymph nodes. She had used up her lifetime allotment for chemo and her options were limited. Jessica made the most difficult decision and declined all options presented to her. After two weeks in the hospital, she was released to go home on hospice on September 9th. After a long and courageous battle, Jessica flew into God's arms on 10/13/2009, one day short of her 11th birthday. Of course, Jessica was ready, and had even written her will and planned her "Celebration of Life."

Meet Jessica on her CB: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jessicaeasley/journal/76

Watch her video with Leeroy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7LA6RL2Plw

Jessica and her dog Leeroy shot this on Aug. 26, 2009, just six weeks before she flew to heaven.