helped Tyler Jones beat the odds and live, TWICE.
Your help brought Tyler through a 12-year ordeal of radiation, multiple surgeries, and long-term care.
When Tyler was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor in 2006, he had to be at St. Jude’s in Memphis, Tenn. Not only is it one of the best places for a child to be, but it is free. Free is what the Jones family had to have.
“We were at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City for two of Tyler’s brain surgeries, but they were unable to get to the tumor,” said Pam, Tyler’s mom.
Their insurance pushed them to choose a whole-brain radiation in Wichita instead of a pinpoint treatment on the tumor, which was Pam’s choice. She is so grateful he wound up being accepted at St. Jude’s.
“St. Jude’s pays for everything for the child while you are there, but that does not include travel or the parent’s expenses.”
Your help with travel saved the family financially, especially when Tyler went through treatments the second time.
After nine years of living with a shrunken tumor, Tyler needed more treatment, as it decided to grow again. Thank goodness your donations allowed him to travel to be in the St. Jude’s research program.
“For the first four years, we went to Memphis four times a year for checkups, then every six months. But at the nine-year mark they found his tumor was growing again,” Pam said.
It was also bleeding. The good news was that medicine had advanced and it was now operable.
Treatment for the bleeding over several weeks time lead to a seizure and a stroke. Although Tyler was now legally an adult, he was still a part of the St. Jude research and was being cared for by them, in Tennessee.
The stroke lead to a long-term care unit that is usually filled with much older adults. Tyler’s care was tailored to a youth. You were there for Tyler when he needed it most.
“The travel eats your budget. I was not working, and our home is still here. The donations to the Cancer Council that make it possible for a single mom to travel with her child to be with him, it is as important as the St. Jude’s free treatment.”
Today, he has learned to walk and talk again. He is cancer-free and takes physical therapy several times a week at FHSU.
“Paula has such a sense of integrity,” said Pam. “We have donated back items we did not need. Paula was so gracious and accepted the donations. Then, when we needed help further on, she helped us complete the process for the help.”
Your help gives families the tools they need to bring children like Tyler back to their lives in Ellis County.