CASTLE ROCK, Colo. – Watching him on the playground with his older brothers, it’s hard to imagine 10-month-old Declan Jackson as anything but a healthy, active baby.
But in his short life, Declan’s seen a lot. He was just five months old when his parents became worried that he had stopped eating and become extremely lethargic.
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“So over the weekend we went to the ER because he didn’t eat anything,” mother Jennifer Jackson remembers. “He couldn’t even hold his head up any more.”
After days of testing and monitoring, Jennifer and her husband Nicholas heard the words no parent wants to hear.
“They’re like, ‘We found a tumor above his kidney,’” his mom recalls.
“That was a hard day,” adds dad.
Complicating matters, the tumor was compressing Declan’s spine and he was unable to move his legs. Because of the tumor’s location, removing it surgically was not an option.
Once chemo treatments started, Declan improved quickly. Originally doctors said Declan would need at least four rounds of chemo, including two after the tumor was gone.
In the end, Declan only needed half that.
“So after the two rounds and they’re like, ‘Oh, we’re done.’ I’m like, ‘This is not what you told me.’ They’re like, ‘Well, we didn’t think it would shrink that much,” Jennifer said.
Declan’s tumor shrunk 95%, nearly twice what doctors said would be needed to stop treatment.
“He responded very quickly, very well to treatment,” Nicholas said.
Declan will still need to be tested every few months, but his parents say his prognosis is good. Now they’re preparing for many happy, and active, years with all three of their boys.