Judy Martinez lifts her son, Jaxson, to ring a bell that signals the end of active cancer treatment. Diagnosed at 2 with neuroblastoma, Jaxson is now 6. And a survivor.
You have provided a way for our family, friends and community to be superhero strong for our 6-year-old son, Jaxson, through years of cancer surgeries, chemo, radiation, immunotherapy and blood and platelet transfusions. And by the grace of God, he has survived.
Jaxson was just 2 when doctors told my wife, Judy, and I, that Jaxson had stage 4, high-risk neuroblastoma, a very aggressive cancer. We were obviously terrified; the worst thoughts go through your mind.
‘Divide and Conquer’
Chemo started in the first 48 hours after Jaxson arrived at the hospital. Because he was being treated in San Antonio, about 85 miles from our home and family in Uvalde, TX, and because Judy was 6 months pregnant, we had to “divide and conquer” to survive.
It was a difficult time. Judy could not be near Jaxson when he was getting radiation, as a protection for our unborn daughter. And when Jillian arrived—we had decided to deliver at the hospital where Jaxson was being treated—Judy had to be with the baby, and I was with Jaxson. Our family was separated for months at a time.
Everyone Was Praying
To keep everyone updated—all of Uvalde was praying for Jaxson—I would write on CaringBridge. Judy or my Mom would usually read behind me before we published. It was something we did together.
So many blessings have come through CaringBridge. It has been so comforting to have the prayers and support from family and friends.
‘Ringing the Bell’
But the biggest blessing has been Jaxson’s complete response to treatments. It was an amazing moment when we experienced him “ringing the bell” at the oncology clinic. This is a symbol to mark the conclusion of treatment for cancer patients.
Judy and I don’t know what our little boy is going to do in the future, but we know it will be something special. Maybe he will grow up and become a doctor who figures out the cure for neuroblastoma? We don’t know, but we can’t wait to see.
We love all you do for families placed in horrible situations, and the hope you offer them. On behalf of Judy and I, thank you for supporting CaringBridge.
Feel the Impact
Can you support CaringBridge during our Holiday giving campaign? Generous donors like you ensure that CaringBridge remains ad-free, private and protected.
Juan Martinez is a firefighter and EMT in Uvalde, TX, and describes his wife, Judy, as the strongest person he knows. Their firstborn, Jaxson, is now a cancer survivor and big brother to Jillian and Justy.