CRESTVIEW — Noah Jackson may not have celebrated his first birthday on Saturday if St. Jude Children's Research Hospital hadn't stepped in to help.
HEALTH CARE — NO COST
When Noah was born June 28, 2013 at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, doctors spotted glioblastoma, a cancerous brain tumor.
They removed the tumor during emergency surgery, but Sacred Heart specialists recommended that Noah receive additional treatment at St. Jude.
For seven months in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude provided two surgeries, six rounds of chemotherapy, lodging and food. In addition, specialists provided physical, occupational and speech therapies during a crucial point in Noah's development.
All the surgeries, treatments and therapies came at no cost to the family.
Now, little Noah's latest brain scan, as of February, shows no cancer.
'WHAT A BLESSING'
Despite favorable results, Noah is not medically cleared at this time.
“Until he is five years clean, they won’t diagnose him as beaten (cancer),” Caleb, his father, said. “So we have a little ways to go, but we are doing about as good as we can right now.”
Still, it's a relief, Krystal, his mother said.
“The weight that was lifted ... I can’t even describe how wonderful it is, and what a blessing it’s been for us,” she said.
Now, the Jacksons are paying it forward. The family is raising money for St. Jude. With the support of friends, family and the community, they've raised more than $32,000.
“As a parent, this is a way … we can fight back,” Krystal said, referring to cancer.
Back at his Crestview home, Noah receives additional chemotherapy and care.
Although treatments can take a toll on an infant, Noah has a smile on his face.
“He is a very happy baby; he just takes it all in stride,” Caleb said.
His parents also are happy, thanks to Crestview residents' support.
“This is an amazing community; they have rallied behind us with support and prayers,” Krystal said.
HOW TO HELP
Visit bit.ly/1lw2dzh to donate toward Noah’s Birthday Wish