Jesse Krause hadn’t been feeling well for months. With every passing day, it seemed as though his health was deteriorating. Concerned about their ten-year-old son, his parents made an appointment with a pediatrician. After having a chest X-ray, they were given the devastating news: two tumors occupied Jesse’s slight frame, one perilously close to his heart.
“We were overwhelmed and shocked,” said his mom, Kristine. “Our minds were bombarded with terrifying thoughts of what the future would hold.”
The next day Jesse was admitted to BC Children’s Hospital, where the family was greeted by the team of doctors and nurses who would play a role in their journey.
A series of tests revealed that Jesse had four tumors in his body – but a biopsy was needed to determine what kind of cancer he had. The proximity of the tumor to his heart, however, meant that performing one under anesthesia was too risky and that Jesse would need to have it with only freezing to numb the area. His calmness through it amazed everyone, and he underwent several other procedures without anesthesia.
Jesse was diagnosed with Mature B cell Burkitt’s lymphoma, a type of cancer that attacks the lymphatic system. He immediately began chemotherapy and the tumor shrank by almost 50% within the first week. Over the next several weeks, Jesse continued to undergo intensive chemotherapy, becoming weak and frail with each cycle.
The family spent a total of 76 days at BC Children’s Hospital before being able to return home. Jesse’s latest scan showed no traces of cancer and he’s had remarkable progress in regaining his strength – in fact, he’s preparing to run in this year’s RBC Race for the Kids with his family and friends.