30 DAYS/30 STORIES® 2020
Our daughter, Jillian, is 14 years-old, and half of her childhood has been spent fighting Medulloblastoma - the most common malignant type of brain cancer found in children. I clearly remember her diagnosis day...for that was the first day in our new uncertain world. A world that felt as if it was crashing down and crumbling our hopes and dreams for our family.
Since that day, our “beautiful and brave” girl has been diagnosed an additional 3 times, most recently in May of this year. Fighting Medulloblastoma once is unimaginable, fighting it now for the 4th time is beyond comprehensible. It is hard for most to imagine taking your child to the doctor and them not being able to fix what is ailing them. With Medulloblastoma, there is no known cure, or proven treatments. We continue to research and look for any promising clinical trials and pray for a cure!
Jillian continues to take each day on with a smile despite how she is feeling and lives life to the fullest. She is the kindest soul you will ever meet and exudes a quiet grace in the face of adversity and pain. She had wished to finally get the chance to have a fresh and healthy start with the beginning of her high school career this fall. However instead, she will be managing both a new school and traveling for treatment with hopes of acceptance, days of feeling well, and of course sprinkling in some teenage fun whenever possible.
Along our long cancer journey, we have been blessed with the presence of lots of love and support that has meant the world to us. Family, friends, community and organizations like PCFLV have played such an important role in keeping us strong and able to keep fighting. We could never thank the people enough who have been there for our family. There are no words to describe what it is like to have a child who is fighting cancer, and in our case fighting cancer for the 4th time. It is extremely difficult on Jillian, but also her sister Alexa, and, of course, us as their parents. We have had to deal with not only this awful disease, but all the heartache and challenges of living life with it. I came across this very moving and pertinent quote that brought me to tears with how real and true it reads:
“Being young and sick is sorta like being elderly, except we lack the reflection on all the great times and great things we did long ago. Instead, we watch our peers make the memories and strides they’ll look back on fondly, bitterly observing and praying for our chance. Our time.”
Our family has had to accept this reality countless times on top of the many years of fighting for our daughter’s health. There have been those who have moved on, chosen to look the other way, or only look upon us with sadness. Though it’s a heartbreaking reality, we strive to rise above this disappointing truth. We will continue to fight for our beautiful and brave girl and do our best to help others facing the same diagnosis. To all our fellow cancer families, we fully understand what you are dealing with and pray for each of you.
Again, we are thankful and grateful to every single person who has and continues to support us. We are equally indebted to PCFLV for all they do to assist families with all facets of their lives, but most importantly for being a true and compassionate light in such a difficult time.
Written by her mom, Jodi