Meet Our Patients
When Jackson (Jack) was born, his parents knew something was wrong. He couldn’t move his legs, and he had a large lump on his back. Jack was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma: a tumor that started in his abdomen and grew into his spinal cord before birth.
Jack received his first round of chemotherapy at Nationwide Children’s, and at five weeks old, Jack underwent surgery to remove the tumor from his spine. When Jack turned two, he was declared cancer free. But the effects from the cancer didn’t go away.
Jack’s mom, Lori, said they were told Jack would never walk—or possibly sit up—on his own. With his level of spinal cord injury, Jack had a less than 15 percent chance of walking. So when he was three months old, Lori signed Jack up for physical therapy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
“Jack was three months old when we started, and they asked me what my goal was,” Lori said. “I said for him to walk. I knew they thought I was crazy, but Catie (Jack’s physical therapist) never gave up on Jack either.”
Throughout the past five years, Jack has attended physical therapy at Nationwide Children’s two to three times per week. When he wasn’t at Nationwide Children’s, Lori continued therapy at home for hours each day. Slowly, his family and physical therapy team started to see Jack regain movement in his legs.
Jack defied all odds, and today, he walks with assistance from a walker. He loves sled hockey, Legos, wrestling with his brother and riding his Krazy Kar. Lori describes Jack as the “strongest, most determined and positive” person she knows.
Lori said Jack’s physical therapist, Catie Christensen, plays a tremendous role in his care. “We see a ton of doctors at Children’s, but Catie has been there with us throughout the past five years and helped us research, collaborate with doctors and therapists, and goes above and beyond her job to help my son.”
“Cancer is a disease that not only affects Jack, but it has really affected our whole family,” Lori said. “Nationwide Children’s Hospital offers support, hope and partnership with those who take care of my son.”