ROANOKE (WSLS) - A brave 8-year-old battling cancer is inspiring the community to help him get better.
Naeshawn Jefferson abruptly had to leave elementary school during the second grade last year.
"One day he woke up with a fever and he had vomited. That happened back in August and that week he just got weaker and weaker. He started having a lot of pain. He couldn't walk," explains Latoya Allen, Naeshawn's mom.
Naeshawn's doctor, Pediatric Hematologist and Oncologist at the Carilion Clinic, Dr. Mandy Atkinson, says he has a Neuroblastoma. It's the second most common tumor in children, next to brain tumors.
Naeshawn's cancer is considered stage four, which means it has metastasized to different areas of his body.
"The first question was 'is my son going to die,' and I just broke down," Naeshawn's mom said.
Naeshawn had a CT scan on Monday. It will show how well a recent bone marrow transplant, along with half a dozen chemotherapy treatments, are working against the tumors in his body. The next step is radiation and eventually immunotherapy.
He will be the second child to go through the immunotherapy at Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital. The treatment involves five different IV treatments. The antibodies he will be given attach to the cancer cell and alert the immune system to attack the cancer. |
The hope is that Naeshawn will eventually be cancer free.
"He truly is a wonderful kid and his stamina astounds all of us, " says Dr. Atkinson.
Star City Skate Center is holding a fundraiser for Naeshawn Monday night from 6:00-8:30 p.m. If you would like to go skating to help Naeshawn and his family, call (540) 362-5195 for more information.
An account has also been set up through Suntrust Bank in the name of Naeshawn Allen Jefferson for anyone who would like to help his family with medical expenses.