Local boy beats cancer with help from St. Jude Hospital

Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 10:55 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Since 1960, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has been saving children’s lives and sharing their research with the world. One local boy was accepted into a St. Jude clinical trial that saved his life.

At age 3, Jaxson Spikes was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma. The rare cancer is very aggressive, but it is the most common cancer in babies.

“They told us five years before we got there, which would be 10 years now, that they would have sent us home with his diagnosis,” said Jaxson’s mom Robyn Spikes. “They’d have said, we got to put you on hospice; there’s nothing we can do, but the trial that he did started changing things.”

After being diagnosed, Jaxson’s cancer rapidly spread.

“It started on his adrenal gland, and then spread up his whole sternum, essentially all the way to his neck,” said Spikes. “One cell doesn’t form, right, so it makes the tumor and then they just keep growing from that one cell.”

Jaxson was diagnosed in 2018. At the time, St. Jude’s treatment for Neuroblastoma was brand new.

“And more effective than what every other hospital was doing, and with his, it’s super aggressive and you really can’t play around with it,” said Spikes. “So within a week we were at St. Jude from his diagnosis and he started treatment the next day.”

Jaxon was at St. Jude for 16 months. Part of his treatment included six rounds of chemo, a bone marrow transplant, and according to Jaxson, a lot of needles and X-rays.

Jaxson had multiple surgeries and developed a chyle leak which meant he could not eat for 3 months.

The Children’s Cancer Research Fund, other organizations, and families with children with cancer often repeat a commonly heard statistic: only 4% of federal funding goes to researching childhood cancers.

“That’s why St. Jude is doing their own thing and making their own money,” said Spikes. “It takes 1.2 million a day to run St. Jude and I mean that was when we were there two years ago, it could be more now.”

Jaxson goes to St. Jude every year for a check-up. Thanks to the clinical trial, his care while at St. Jude, and his family, he is still cancer free.