Thanks to you, many families can participate in the latest medical studies that may save their life.
Eleven-year-old Mason and mom Stacey on their way for Mason to participate in a study that may save his life from an aggressive form of leukemia. (Masks were off for photo.)
“My family has a mantra, it’s ‘Not cancer today!’” explained Jenn, the mother of 11-year-old Mason who is battling the most aggressive form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Mason was diagnosed in April 2019 when he was nine. He has endured eight months of chemotherapy at Children’s Hospital LA (CHLA) that helped him into remission only to relapse in June 2020.
The doctors at CHLA got him into a new FDA-approved study at Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) in Baylor College of Medicine for Mason’s type of leukemia. The study took only 30 people, 12 years old or older, but they took Mason because of his aggressive type of cancer. Jenn says, “Mason on chemo didn’t work for him. This immunotherapy uses his own cells growing in the lab at Baylor taken from 30 vials of his blood so they can attack his cancer cells. We told Mason that his cells are getting knighted to be strong.”
Mason will spend four to six weeks in TCH while Jenn and Mason’s other mom Stacey will be staying in a nearby B&B. Mason will be an outpatient, but will go in every day for observation. If all goes well, Mason will face a bone marrow transplant that is the second step to his recovery.
Mason’s family found AFW through the non-profit the Young and Brave Foundation which helps young adults and children diagnosed with all forms of cancer. Jenn says “we were wondering how we would get to Texas. We couldn’t imagine a road trip with him not feeling good or a commercial flight due to COVID. We couldn’t afford the trip until we heard about AFW. Once we contacted them a week out from when we had to be there, they said, ‘hang on and we’ll get the word out.’” Command Pilot Leonard Rand, whose own personal battle with leukemia compelled him to fly this mission, took them all the way from Burbank, CA to Houston, TX in his jet.
Jenn says Mason “is wise beyond his 11 years. I would say that he is not sad, but there’s a heftiness. He still smiles, jokes, and is planning on sticking around. He’s excited to be part of a study that can help other kids and is very proud of that. This is our last hope. Please give our deepest gratitude to the whole gang at AFW. You’ve given our boy a fighting chance!!”