Jacob was only 3 years old when his parents found themselves looking for answers. He was not feeling well, and after several visits to his pediatrician and to urgent care, he was referred to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. It was here that his family learned why Jacob had been so ill. The word no family wants to hear – Cancer.
Jacob was diagnosed with Wilms’ tumor – a cancerous tumor of the kidney. But the cancer was not limited to little Jacob’s kidney. It had spread to both lungs which meant that Jacob had Stage 4 Wilms tumor. With the help of surgery to remove the tumor and affected kidney, along with chemotherapy and radiation, Jake is now cancer free and healthy.
As America’s largest Children’s Hospital, each year more than 150 patients are diagnosed with cancer at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and account for inpatient admissions and outpatient visits exceeding 13,000. The types of treatments for children are quite different than for adults. We offer world-class diagnostic, treatment and research facilities that provide comprehensive, multi-disciplinary care for patients with cancer and acute and chronic blood disorders.
“We discovered through phone calls to hospitals and our own research, after Jake’s diagnosis, that we have a world-class facility right outside our front door. We were in a good place. The first 3 days after Jake’s diagnosis were the darkest days we had ever experienced. We thought we had no chance and that we would be very lucky if Jake got through this. Dr. Mark Ranalli, Diane Dornbusch, the nurse practitioner . . . They were a fantastic team and the best people we could ever imagine working with during this remarkably devastating time. They, along with the many selfless nurses who helped our little man, became family that we truly cared about,” says Jacob’s mom, Liz.
Jacob is now 11 and full of energy. He loves to build things, and will keep redoing his projects until they’re perfect. Then, he’ll take them apart so he can rebuild them! Playing with Legos and Nerf gun wars in the yard with friends are some of his favorite past times.
Jake also plays volleyball and basketball. His loves watching the Golden State Warriors, with his favorite players being Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant. So, it’s safe to say he was pretty pleased with how this year’s NBA Finals went.
Now that Jake is better and older, he wants to give back to the hospital. He knows being a marathon Patient Champion will be an amazing and fun experience, but has the goal in mind to raise money for the hospital.