Before he was diagnosed with a brain tumor in September 2011, Jacob Dizon was playing youth football and dreaming of playing on college team one day, then as a pro. He loved the sport and camaraderie. But Jacob would spend the rest of the season sitting on the sidelines, cheering his team on. He then began his treatment at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego.
Jacob’s family was scared and didn’t know what to expect, but the Neuro-Oncology team was with them every step of the way.
“They anticipated every need, from explaining everything that would be happening to providing us with resources, counseling and support groups,” says Jacob’s mom, Veronna. “We realized how fortunate we were that this program at Rady Children’s was here when we needed it. We truly felt that nothing would compare to the specialized and comprehensive care that Jacob received from the hospital, Dr. Crawford and his team. We have met so many wonderful people here and feel our family has been in such good hands.”
Jacob would watch Charger games from his bedside during his treatments, and his love of football kept him positive, giving him something to look forward to. He completed his final cycle of radiation on Feb. 15, 2012.
Since this time, all of Jacob’s scans have been clear, and he continues to get checked regularly. He is back to enjoying life as a typical teenager and has joined the Some of My Best Friends Are Bald (SOMBFAB) support group at the Peckham Center, which has helped him to move forward.
He also went back to playing football but found himself looking at the sport in a different light, and as a different person, given his journey. At the end of the freshman football season, Jacob and his family decided it would be best for him to stop playing. But his love for the sport continues, and he is now enjoying the game in a different way.
Jacob had the privilege of attending Super Bowl 47 through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an experience that gave his entire family strength, hope and faith. “We knew that despite what we through,” Veronna says, “everything would be okay.”
Published May 2013