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Jan 23, 2019

10-Year-Old with Brain Tumour Fighting to Live

A ten-year-old Belize City boy is fighting to stay alive. Jaylen Trevan Young was diagnosed with Brainstem Glioma four months ago, in September 2018. The cancerous tumor is growing rapidly on Jaylen’s brain stem, an area so delicate that doctors have told the family that conducting a surgery is too risky. The tumor has left the minor paralyzed. Experts say that children who are suffering from Brainstem Glioma do not live a year pass diagnosis. It is the harsh reality that his family is battling with and is hoping that someone out there can help Jaylen. His family is asking for the public to send ‘get well’ cards and ‘feel better’ letters, to let him know that he is not alone in his fight. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo visited Jaylen at his home on Balan Street.

 

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

Ten-year-old Jaylen Trevan Young uses his eyes to communicate.

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Your mother showed me pictures of you when you were younger. Do you remember these pictures?”

 

Jaylen Young, Diagnosed with Brainstem Glioma

*Moves eyes upwards, twice*

 

Hipolito Novelo

“How about this one? This is with your father and your brothers and sister. Do you remember taking this one?”

 

Jaylen Young

*Moves eyes upwards, twice*

 

For Jaylen Moving his eyes upwards twice or more, means ‘yes’. Moving his eyes upwards once means no.  This method of communication was taught to him by his big sister. In September 2018, Jaylen was diagnosed with Brainstem Glioma.

 

Maria Young

Maria Young, Mother of Jaylen Young

“When I get the news like it’s something like when your hearts want to collapse on you. The there I couldn’t eat. When I was in the hospital with him for the entire week, I don’t sleep. I don’t eat.”

 

There are two types of brain stem gliomas in children. Jaylen is suffering from diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, DIPG. It is a high-grade tumor with cancer cells growing and spreading all through his brain stem at an alarming rate.

 

Maria Young

“I always am beside him.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Do you cry?”

 

Maria Young

“Yes, I cry a lot.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Does he cry?”

 

Maria Young

“Before yes.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“When you guys talk what do you talk about?”

 

Maria Young

“About the things that we used to do.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“How he used to be active, a normal little boy.”

 

Maria Young

“He is a young child that doesn’t give trouble. Every time you talked to him, he listens and obeys you. I don’t find any problem with him. In school, he does well. In everything, he does well.”

 

The effects of Jaylen’s condition are devastating. Jaylen has been bedridden for the last two months. He is completely paralyzed. But he wasn’t born this way. Four months ago, Jaylen was a normal boy, running around with friends at Queen Street Baptist Primary School.

 

Karema Roca

Karema Roca, Teacher

“He is very smart. He always came in the top five. He loves to read. He spent a lot of time in the classroom playing. I love to see how he was performing in the entire first, second and third term. He use to write his story. He did an excellent job.”

 

Kimberly Audinett, Aunt of Jaylen Young

“He was very playful. He was always happy. We don’t come around much often but every time we interacted with him, we saw him and he was always “Auntie, Auntie”. He was a very joyful child. He was very friendly and very caring. He was already ready to hug and just be around people and expressed the love that he has inside.”

 

Since the diagnosis, Jaylen’s health has deteriorated rapidly. He can’t speak. He can’t eat on his own. He has a tube attached to his stomach. His mother, Maria Young, uses the tube to feed her son blended food and Ensure.

 

Maria Young

“You close this so that the fluid does not come out back. You have to close this to make sure it is tight because if you leave it so, everything will pour out.”
Hipolito Novelo

“How long has he been fed through the tube?”

 

Maria Young

“It is going for two months. The tenth of February will be two months.”

 

The cause of most childhood brain tumors is unknown. The signs and symptoms are not the same in every child. About a month ago, Jaylen’s condition worsened with him experiencing frequent seizures.

 

Maria Young

“They usually tell me to put him on his side and the next side, but he doesn’t really like it. Because sometimes I ask him if he is comfortable in these positions, sometimes she blinks no. So I know what he is saying. That is how I communicate with him.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“When was the last time he has a seizure?”

 

Maria Young

“Ten o’clock this morning. When he has it, his foot goes stiff.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“And when that happens what do you do?”

 

Maria Young

“Sometimes I just rub his foot bottom and then I just rub his foot. He likes it. When he use to move his hand, sometimes he places his hands there and that means that he wants a massage. So I usually do that and his foot goes back to normal and I start to exercise it. That is how I do it.”

 

Kimberly Audinett

“He uses to move one hand but that was before the Christmas actually and over the Christmas, everything starts changing more. Instead, he increases, he decreases more.”

 

Experts say that a child diagnosed today with DIPG has less than one year to live. Local doctors have given up on Jaylen, advising his parents that further testing and treatment should be sought in another country. The heartbreaking reality is that the life of this ten-year-old boy is coming to an untimely and agonizing end. The chances of him surviving the cancer are practically non-existent but there is still hope, hope for a miracle.

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Do you believe or do you hope that there is someone out there that can help him? That he can have another chance at life.”

 

Maria Young

“Well, I think so but the way the doctors told me is that there is nothing that they can do because where the tumor is, they can’t do the surgery for it.”

 

Kimberly Audinett

“But he is hurting and we don’t know his pain and it is very heroic. It’s like you can’t explain it. It’s nerve-wracking to see him like that. It is painful. I think it will take a miracle.”

 

Jaylen is a fighter. He is not giving up so easily. He still watches his favorite cartoons and shows. But he misses life. He misses feeling the rays of the sun on his skin. He misses running around like any normal ten-year-old. He misses his friends at school.

 

Hipolito Novelo

“This one is in your Baptist School Uniform.”

 

Jaylen Young

*Moves eyes upwards, twice*

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Do you miss school?”

 

Jaylen Young

*Moves eyes upwards, twice*

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Do you miss your friends at school?”

 

Jaylen Young

*Moves eyes upwards, twice*

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Do you miss running in the yard at school?”

 

Jaylen Young

*Moves eyes upwards, twice*

 

Karema Roca

“When I heard about his sickness, I was shocked. I went to the hospital and I visited him and it tore me in half to see him on a bed lying down. I couldn’t get over it. I kept on  asking his parents about how he is doing but seems that it was only getting worse. I just hope for the better. He was promoted to standard four. He came in third overall which was very good.”

 

His family is asking you to take the journey with Jaylen by sending him ‘get well’ letters and cards, letting him know that he is not alone in his fight.

 

Kimberly Audinett

 “If there are kids out there that have been through a situation like JT and they got well, cards of getting well, balloon or anything to make him special or feel better, we would appreciate that. If kids would write their little ‘get well soon’ or ‘I’ve been in that situation’, and they can bring it.”

 

Maria Young

“For me that is up to God because for me God gives life and takes away life. I just have to accept the fact of what comes. I just have to be strong. Yes, it is so hard, it’s so sad to see him like this.”

 

Hipolito Novelo, News Five.

 

The family can be contacted at cell phone numbers 632-6488, 630-1477 or 664-7856.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “10-Year-Old with Brain Tumour Fighting to Live”

  1. Concerned Parent says:

    Is there any contact number for the parent?.

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