Jackson's Army gets miracle - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Jackson's Army gets miracle

Whether it's talking about Star Wars, video games, or telling jokes, Jackson Hunter, 5, of Sebastian doesn't let life get him down.

"He amazes us every single day.  We are in our room all day and he just laughs, he plays, he draws, he's still goofing off and cracking everyone up," said his mom, Gina.

Jack has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, the most common type of leukemia in kids.  He was diagnosed on Aug. 2, 2015. He's currently staying in the Palm Beach Children's Hospital.

"We spent over 150 days in the hospital the last 14 months, probably closer to 200," said Gina.

Jack has kept a good attitude through chemo, remission and now, relapse. Unfortunately, Jack isn't healthy enough for a bone marrow transplant.

"It was now dire. The only thing left would be the CAR-T Cell Therapy in Philadelphia," said his mom.

The CAR-T Cell Therapy is an experimental trial, perfected at CHOP in Philadelphia. Doctors will collect T cells from Jackson, then take those T cells and put them in a lab. Those T cells will then be exposed to a virus, and genetically engineered to go after the cancer cells. 

After they go into the patient, they essentially go anywhere in the body there could be a cancer cell, seek out those cancer cells and destroy them.

But because it's only a trial, and out-of-state, Medicaid told the Hunter family, no.

"We needed him approved and we needed it quickly," said Gina.

So Gina mobilized what is now called Jackson's army.

"Jack has a page, Action4Jackson on FB and I just put it out there. I just said contact the people in our town, Medicaid, Prestige (the health care company), Marco Rubio and Gov. Scott and different state reps. Call them, write emails to the doctor who denied us, get him to change his mind," said Gina.

The Hunters live in Sebastian, Eric is from Texas and Gina is from the Philadelphia area. So, they had help from across the United States.

"It went viral. We had people just calling, letters, emails. There were so many emails written we actually crashed a few peoples' servers on accident.," said Jackson's dad Eric.
Jackson's army worked.

Gina says, "The next morning we got a call that Medicaid had reversed its decision and they were going to approve us for the trial."

Jackson will be on his way to Philadelphia early next year, thanks to the help of a few thousand people. But there's still a long road to go. The Hunters are just grateful they now have a chance to conquer that road together.

"Quitting has never been an option for us," said Eric. "There aren't enough words, thank you is such a small word," said Gina.

If you'd like to help the Hunter family, you can visit this link here: https://www.gofundme.com/jacksonlives

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