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Meet Our Hero, Jessica

Jan 29, 2021 | Hero

Jessica Gooder

HOMETOWN: PHILLIPSBURG, KS

DIAGNOSIS: STAGE 4 GLIOBLASTOMA

DATE OF DIAGNOSIS: 2013

CURRENT STATUS: FIGHTING

In May of 2013, during the last week of her second-grade year, Jessica Gooder found herself suddenly feeling sick.  Her symptoms included daily headaches and nausea. The following week, Jessica and her family headed to the doctor.  An MRI was quickly scheduled and the next day they found themselves in admitted to the hospital.

Jessica was diagnosed with a brain tumor, Grade 4 Glioblastoma. Brain surgery was scheduled for two weeks later.  As Jessica and her family left the hospital, they were headed to the pharmacy for nausea medicine to keep her comfortable.  Little did everyone know; Jessica would soon experience her first seizure in the back seat on the way to get her prescription. They found themselves back at the hospital with a sense of urgency.  Jessica surgery was quickly rescheduled for Memorial Day Sunday, just hours away. During a five-hour surgery, the entire brain tumor was resected.  Shortly after recovering from surgery, Jessica was scheduled for 33 days of radiation, then after a month off, chemotherapy.

Jessica was officially done with treatment in August 2014.  After spending years with routine check-ups and enjoying life cancer-free, Jessica suffered a setback in late 2022, when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She is once again taking chemotherapy and fighting with all her might. Through it all, Jessica has shown great bravery and she and her family continue to advocate for this terrible disease.

While it is undetermined if Jessica’s new cancer diagnosis was caused by her brain tumor treatment, oftentimes there is a risk for secondary cancers from previous cancer treatments. We will continue to push for more effective, kinder treatments for kids with brain cancer.

To make a donation to fund childhood brain cancer research in honor of Jessica and her fight, click the red donate button at the top of the page.