Give For Texans – Jax’s Story
“Blood donors helped save my son’s life.”
Jax Fisher was a laid-back, easygoing kid when he and his parents received Jax’s diagnosis of Ewing Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. He was 11.
“Jax just started middle school and was running a lot and thinking about playing football,” said Michelle Fisher, his mom. “He loved riding his bike, going to water parks, loved to boogie board at the beach, snow skiing, and going on walking adventures. Jax was inquisitive with things. He loved building Lego® structures and playing video games, too.
“The first day we met with the oncologist, we were wrapping up our visit and Jax looked at his dad and I and said, ‘After chemo, I get a survivor shirt!’ He never thought it would end any different.”
Michelle and Alex Fisher are proud parents of three – Madelyn, Jax and Brooklyn. Sandwiched between sisters, Jax is the middle child and only son. The Fishers are close and Michelle says they leaned on their faith during Jax’s illness. They prayed, remained positive, celebrated everything, and believed in a healing outcome. Throughout his journey, Jax remained unfazed. Michelle says he matured a lot in the process, rarely complained, and was always kind and thoughtful.
During Jax’s treatments, the Fishers also learned the significance of blood transfusion for supporting cancer patients.
“Chemo kills the bad cells, but also the good cells, making your blood counts low. After every chemo treatment, we would sit and wait for Jax’s blood counts to rebound so he would feel better and for his blood to be strong enough for another chemo treatment,” Michelle recalls. “When his counts were real low – in the danger zone – that is when he would get a blood transfusion. Transfusions help the blood to rebound quicker and make the patient feel better.”
With so many hospital stays and unable to be active at all, Jax picked up new hobbies. He started watching cooking shows in the hospital and, when at home, would Google recipes. Cooking kept him busy when he was required to be homebound and away from others. Today, his mother says Jax is a great cook and the family prefers his cooking over anyone else’s. Jax is also three years cancer-free. Michelle proudly tells people, “I am a mom of a cancer survivor.”
Paying It Forward
“We are so thankful to Carter BloodCare [blood donors]. Jax received numerous blood transfusions during treatment. We realized, without people donating blood and without transfusions, his journey could’ve been very different,” said Michelle.
Now the Fishers host blood drives to ‘pay it forward.’ Six hundred to 800 patients a day require a blood transfusion. Many of those people require more than one unit of blood, platelets or plasma. They are patients undergoing cancer treatments, accident and trauma patients, expectant mothers, children with anemia, older adults with health issues, and organ transplant and surgical patients.
“Donating blood is such an easy thing to do and such a crucial need for cancer patients,” said Michelle. I want to give because it was given to my family. Blood donors helped save my son’s life.”
A Bright Future
As much as Jax endured to become a cancer survivor, he also welcomed a new interest in the medical field. Current high school courses will allow him to graduate either as an emergency medical technician (EMT) or a nurse assistant.
Michelle says her son still loves the ocean, loves to swim, complete Legos, and reads all the time.
“He is physically unable to stand for an extended period of time, walk long distances, run, ride a bike, or ski. His leg is fragile and he has to be extremely cautious. But, he may cure cancer one day!”