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Jake

Jake

Strong doesn’t even begin to define Jake. Entering second grade in the fall of 2012, his parents thought he may have the flu and took him to SickKids Hospital. Jake’s mom, Patricia, was confused when doctors sent Jake for a CT scan, but when the results revealed swelling in his brain, she understood why: her quiet, kind-hearted boy had ependymoma. Jake endured two surgeries to remove the cancer cells from his brain and faced lingering side effects, including right-side paralysis. Despite needing to relearn how to walk, talk and swallow, Jake continued to smile. Life was mostly normal for about a year. Then, a routine MRI gave Jake more bad news: the same cancer had grown six tumors on his spine. This time, doctors said surgery wasn’t an option. Jake began radiation treatment, but it wasn’t enough. His neurosurgeon agreed to try surgery, which wasn’t typically done for metastatic cancer. It was a success. Two years passed before Jake relapsed in both his brain and spine. Another surgery followed. Then, in 2017, another relapse. With their options dwindling, Jake qualified for a clinical trial that was in the United States. In February 2018, Jake began a 2-year duration of traveling to Georgia for treatment. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, traveling was no longer safe, but after a successful spinal resection that left no trace of a tumor, Jake was able to take a break from treatment. Unfortunately, in October 2021, Jake faced another recurrence. Jake’s neurosurgeon and oncologist did everything possible, but the cancer was just too aggressive. Sadly, on August 06, 2022, Jake passed away. Jake lived his life with so much strength, hope and love for his family. He taught so much to so many and will always be remembered for his beautiful smile.

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