No matter what it took, most of us would do everything we could to try and save our child’s life. But would we have the courage to keep on fighting for others even after our personal battle is lost?
14-year-old Jake was an active child, who loved building and had a special love for dragons.
“Jake went to a camp and we got a call the first day that said Jake says his shoulder hurts,” said Jake’s father Matt.
FOX 29’s Bill Anderson spoke with Matt and Sandy McHugh to about their son’s battle with cancer.
“He was diagnosed with Peripheral T cell lymphoma, which is extremely rare in children,” said his mother Sandy. “He was always in this little fantasy world, that was his escape for whatever needed to go on. The dragons were part of that, the dragons protected him and he protected the dragons.”
But by February the cancer was too much and young Jake passed away.
“We took pictures beating the hospital, we’re gonna beat this, then we went back in the hospital in January and he never left,” said Matt.
The McHugh’s all believed but there was an eye opening reality that they experienced. They found out that the options for children with cancer especially rare cancers can be sadly absent.
“In the past 20 years, there have only been three drugs approved for children’s cancers, In that same span there have been 185 drugs approved for adult cancers,” said Sandy.
In response they launched Jake’s Dragon Foundation to try and increase awareness for the need for more research for childhood cancer.
“We have to carry this pain every day, it’s never going to go away and we’ve decided to not lay down with our pain, we’ve chosen to stand up for others,” said Sandy.
Around the area last week you may have seen landmarks supporting Jake’s Dragon Foundation by lighting up yellow for childhood cancer. They have an ongoing pushup challenge on social media to raise awareness all trying to find some sense in the senseless.
“This is our way to find meaning and to make sure his life means something and that it goes on and helps someone else,” added Sandy.
All are invited to join them in raising awareness so that they can try to spare others the pain they faced and offer the protection of Jake’s Dragon’s for goodness sake.