Jeffrey was chosen to be a Relentless Detroit Kid in 2013. Here is his story and an update on how he is doing today provided by his mother Michelle.
Jeffrey’s story started in January of 2013 when he started becoming nauseated whenever he would try to eat. Food never had time to get to his stomach. After doctor’s visits, blood draws & x-ray’s they prescribed a reflux medication, since all the tests didn’t show anything wrong at the time.
I looked into his eyes and saw that his eyes would repeatedly bounce uncontrollably when he looked down and to the left.
I took him in to see his doctor and was sent by the pediatrician to C.S. Mott Hospital ER. Jeff remembers his vision went double and the eye bouncing — nystagmus — would occur whenever he looked in all 4 directions. One week later Jeff underwent a frontal craniotomy to biopsy his brain tissue. When the results came back, Jeff’s diagnosis was Primary CNS diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. This is a type of brain cancer found in 60 year old and older adults and one that has never been treated on a pediatric level at Mott.
Chemotherapy does not effectively cross the blood-brain barrier. Doctors chose to insert a chemo port called an Ommaya Reservoir to inject the chemo directly into his brain.
In the same week that all of this was occurring one of Jeff’s best friend’s mom talked to me about Relentless Detroit. Honestly, I was so shell-shocked from all of the things going on that I couldn’t wrap my head around what RD was all about, I was just in survival mode.
Tommy, one of Relentless Detroit’s board members, showed up to meet us during Jeffrey’s 13th birthday party that we held on the grass in the courtyard between Old Mott Hospital and Main Hospital. One thing I could sense at that time was that there was a genuine sincerity with Tommy. I did not have a clue back then what the Lord would do through Relentless Detroit.
Jeffrey has been in remission since December 2013 and through the grace of God, has been dominating the cancer that once stopped our entire family in our tracks.
Relentless Detroit helped to fulfill a bucket list wish for Jeffrey that was to meet the Duck Dynasty crew. The Lord moved mountains to get our family to Wisconsin where we were able to sit in on a book signing the Robertson’s were doing.
As soon as the Robertson’s laid eyes upon Jeffrey, Phil Robertson said, “Come here, young man, so we can pray for you!” Phil, Kay and Si immediately went to bended knee, joined hands with Pastor Joe Wilson, Jeffrey and Ben to pray for Jeffrey.
Because of his ongoing battle with nystagmus, Jeff has chosen to stop playing soccer for now and join the men’s cross country track team at his high school.
He’s also been volunteering at C.S. Mott’s “Game Day Experience” every Wednesday throughout the summer. He has continued to do well in school and even kept up a 4.0 GPA throughout all of the chemo and post-chemo because his career goal is to become a pediatric oncologist at Mott.