Meet Jillian – Medulloblastoma Warrior
“We are so grateful for those who have stayed by our side. Love and support has carried us through many difficult times and has given us hope that Jillian will again beat this awful disease,” said Jillian’s mom.
When seven-year old Jillian started experiencing headaches, occasional vomiting and loss of energy, her pediatrician scheduled an MRI the following week. By the time of her appointment, Jillian’s symptoms had worsened. She was very weak, her vision was blurry and she experienced numbness in her arms and legs. Immediately following the scan, Jillian’s pediatrician told her parents to take her directly to the hospital where they received the devastating news. Their precious daughter was diagnosed with medulloblastoma—a malignant brain tumor.
Jillian started treatment immediately. After months of surgeries, radiation and rounds of chemotherapy, she was finally able to return to school and enjoy life once again.
After a year of clear scans, Jillian and her family’s world was shattered once again when they discovered Jillian had relapsed. After a second brain surgery, she enrolled in a clinical trial located nearly 16 hours away from their home. “We traveled back and forth to Florida which truly took another big toll on our family,” said Jillian’s mom.
With these traveling expenses quickly adding up, Jillian’s parents turned to the NCCS. The organization helped Jillian’s family with financial assistance from the Travel Assistance Fund to make sure she got to every appointment. Once again, Jillian bravely fought through treatment and its grueling side effects.
Tragically, this brave little girl has relapsed three more times. She’s endured multiple surgeries, rounds of chemotherapy and multiple clinical trials. Despite the many hardships Jillian and her family faced over the seven years since her diagnosis, the NCCS was by their side through it all. Jillian and her family continued to receive support with travel expenses in addition to free publications that offered guidance throughout the many ups and downs of Jillian’s journey. They have used the organization’s Late After Effects Tool (LEATT) to understand what physical and cognitive challenges Jillian might face in the future.