Jake Russell


"When Jake was 3 years old, he was playing in the street when another child rode their bike into him, knocking him down. Two days later (on Saturday, 10/13/12) he bumped his shin on a chair and cried in agony. Much more than a normal bump. We took him to his pediatrician thinking that he had fractured his tibia and his Doctor thought that was a possibility since he had fallen a few days before. She sent us for an X-ray that day. She called within the hour to say that there was concern for a bone infection and that we needed to go straight to the Children's hospital in Atlanta. We spent four hours in the emergency room that night and left with the knowledge that it was not an infection. A call from his pediatrician the next morning introduced us to the words "Ewings Sarcoma" and we were referred to a rare tumor doctor to take the next step. His tumor doctor ordered an MRI to be completed three long weeks later. The MRI was "inconclusive" (although we believe that they were pretty sure it was cancer) and Jake was scheduled for a biopsy the next Monday. We had a wonderful weekend spending time together as a family...one last hurrah before the biopsy would change our lives forever. Unfortunately, the biopsy did confirm that his tumor was Ewings Sarcoma. We spent the morning calling our family, crying on each others shoulders, and planning for our next steps. We met his oncologist that same morning and scheduled his CT/PET scan to determine if his cancer had spread. The results of the CT/PET scan showed that Jake's cancer had not spread. The tumor was localized to his left tibia, however it was a large tumor. One week later Jake had surgery to place his port as well as bone marrow aspirations to make sure his marrow was free of cancer. He began chemotherapy the same day. The results of the scan showed that his marrow was cancer free.

“After 6 rounds of chemotherapy, Jake was scheduled for limb salvage surgery on 2/26/13. The surgeon removed about 70% of Jake's left tibia and replaced it with a cadaver bone (allograft). He has two plates and fifteen screws in his leg and was not allowed to bear weight on that leg for nine months after surgery.

“As of the end of 2014, Jake endured 17 rounds of inpatient chemotherapy, 5 trips to the ER for chemo related illness, 4 surgeries (biopsy, port placement/bone marrow aspiration, and a radical resection of the tibia, port removal), 2 EKGs, 5 echocardiograms, 15 x-rays, 7 blood transfusions, an MRI, and 3 CT/PET scans. He has been sedated 4 times and put under general anesthesia 4 times. He has had 32 finger pokes to check blood counts. His port was accessed 35 times. We gave him 188 shots of neupogen.

“Jake has a brilliant smile and an amazing laugh. He handles everything that is thrown at him with stride and is very mature for his age. We are so proud to be his parents!”

- The Russell Family