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Jack Donnelly

Jack was a healthy, happy, chubby baby until we noticed that he had what looked like bruises around his eyes and his appetite was off in August of 2014 –3 trips to the pediatrician finally brought us to Upstate’s Pediatric Emergency Department. We were hoping for answers however we were not expecting the answers we were given — our son had tumors on his skull, bones around his eyes, in his stomach, lymph nodes and cancer in his bone marrow. That was the hardest and scariest day in our lives, until that point. Jack was diagnosed with stage 4 high risk neuroblastoma on August 16, 2014 at 9 months old.

“We were hoping for answers however we were not expecting the answers we were given.”

He underwent surgery to have his port placed and began chemotherapy immediately. Jack underwent many rounds of chemo, several surgeries, a stem cell transplant and proton beam radiation for 3 weeks in Philadelphia (CHOP) all while remaining the happiest and most easy going boy. We were in the home stretch of treatment in June 2015 (in the midst of immunotherapy) and Jack was doing great until something was off with him again — scans revealed Jack had relapsed in his brain and the cancer spread throughout his body. We planned to attack this aggressively — Jack underwent radiation to his head and to his leg (where another tumor had formed) at Upstate Cancer Center and he was given chemo.

We did not want to give up – we would’ve done anything but unfortunately the cancer was too aggressive and the cancer prevailed and took Jack from us on July 27, 2015 surrounded by love. Jack showed us what true strength and resilience was — our family gained so much strength from this little boy. He will remain forever loved by anyone he met. Jack is especially missed by his parents, Jessica and Robert, and his big sister Alyssa. Our family will also remain forever grateful for the wonderful and caring doctors, nurses and staff at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital and the Cancer Center.

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