Jesse is only 10 months old (6 months when his age is adjusted for prematurity). He is trached and is on a ventilator. He has this big beautiful smile that everyone loves. His grandma just heard him laugh for the first time on March 6th 2014 and it was pure joy. Although it is hard and uncomfortable being in the hospital, he is a very happy baby and loves music and playing peekaboo. He also loves being held and getting kisses. Due to an enlarged tongue he can’t suck a regular bottle but he loves to suck on his mom’s thumb.
Jesse is now 16 ½ pounds and went home on Dec. 1, 2014, after spending 6 months in the hospital.
Jesse was diagnosed with Beckwith-Widemann Syndrome (BWS) which is a condition that elevates a child’s risk of developing cancer, so he has had blood tests and scans regularly. A scan showed what was thought to be hemangiomas in Jesse's liver. Oncologists diagnosed hepatoblastoma, which is one of the main cancers that goes with BWS.
Jesse is on a chemo drugs that have been around forever. His grandmother, a nurse, has given patients the very drugs he is on. Jesse had chemotherapy and a tumor resection. He is done with treatment for now.
His family hopes the chemo leaves no long lasting effects on Jesse's brain or hearing and that he will never have to deal with cancer again. His family would like to bring some awareness to BWS. It might have helped Jesse’s treatment, as there was obvious tongue enlargement on the sonogram that no one caught.
Jesse is his family’s hero and “Lil fighter.” He has fought back against so many odds and is still able to smile.
Alex’s Lemonade provides hope that the switch that turns the cell into a cancer cell will be found... And then Jesse’s family (and many others) hope the switch can be turned back off, and cures will be found for all childhood cancers.
Quote: “Jesse is our superbaby, he is strong!”- James, Jesse's 7 year old brother
Information provided by Victoria Shoopman, Jesse’s grandma