Facebook helping 2-year-old boy fight cancer
Thu, 27 Feb 2014 12:37:47 GMT —
The conversations surrounding a two-year-old boy normally deal with monster trucks, race cars and super heroes. But the conversations around one Quincy two-year-old include words like surgery, chemo port and cancer.
You may have heard of Victor Jarvis, or Super V, through social media and media reports.
KHQA's Chad Douglas met with Super V and his family to get an update on his condition and found out how social media is helping him heal.
Christmas is one of a child's favorite days of the year. But Christmas night 2013, was far from a favorite for the Jarvis family. That night, two-year-old Victor was in the Emergency Room in the first of many hospital visits. A few days later, the news came no parent ever wants to hear. Victor has cancer. Not only that, but an extremely rare form of liver cancer. He's been undergoing chemo treatments in St. Louis since the first of the year. Hopes are the chemo will shrink the tumor enough that doctors can take out part of his liver with surgery.
"The tumor has responded well enough that if we needed to, we could take it out now," Sera Jarvis, Victor's mom said.
But that's not the plan. Victor has a consultation Thursday at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Sera says doctors there want a few more rounds of chemo before surgery. Shortly after Victor started treatments at St. Louis Children's, Sera set up a Super V Facebook page. She says so many people were asking about him that she couldn't keep up. This way, she can update everyone on his condition, but she also knows updating Facebook helps her, too.
"It quickly became kind of self-soothing. It was a way for me to get through what I was feeling," Sera Jarvis said.
"As Sera has said, Victor is no longer just ours. We share him with everybody that has grown attached to him and grown to care about him. We love that," Sera's sister Sharadan said.
"The way I figure it is just that many more people are thinking about him and praying for him, and sending positive thoughts out there for him. I'll take all the help I can get," Sera said.
Some more help for Sera comes from a friend of a friend. Shannon Zanger and her family lost their two-year-old Easton in December of 2012.
"There aren't many people who know what it's like to be scared for your child. She gets it," Sera said.
"This is not parenting. This is a whole different level of lifestyle," Shannon Zanger explained.
"She knows that every moment of my day is wrapped up in Victor," Sera said.
"You are immediately thrown into a club that you didn't ask to belong," Shannon said.
"She's really good about sending messages," Sera said.
"The people who have been through this need each other," Shannon said.
"She follows up with "don't respond. I want you to know I hope you have beautiful moments today. I'm thinking about you today,"" Sera said.
"Sharing that is the way that you give back to that piece of you that was taken away," Shannon said.
Sera says words don't exist to show her appreciation for her friendship with Shannon, and really her appreciation for everyone who's reached out to her on Facebook.
"I've always believed there is good in everybody, and I'm glad other people are seeing that. It's a bummer that it's at Victor's expense only because he's ill," Sera said.
Sera says she's looking forward to the day she gets to share all the well wishes and cards with Victor when he gets older.
"When he has a day where he thinks nobody likes me, I get to show him that. How cool will that be?" Sera asked.
All in due time, but first a long road is ahead for this two-year-old. A road that includes many trips to St. Louis, and possibly Cincinnati. Hopefully by Christmas 2014, the joy can be brought back into the Jarvis family and Victor can get back to monster trucks, race cars and super heroes.
"I love you very much," Sera said to Victor.
Victor's family says it's very grateful for this community for stepping up to help.
Money and gift cards have been pouring in to help the cover the costs. There are also some fundraisers coming up, too.
Sunday March 9th, there's a trap shoot fundraiser at the North Side Boat Club in Quincy.
There will also be raffles, T-shirt sales, and a bake sale.
On April 6th, there is a family fun day planned at the Ambiance.
There will be food, drinks and games for the kids.
Besides the money, Victor's family says it's the emotional support that also means a lot.
"It's amazing. I can't go anywhere without someone asking about him. People don't understand until you've been in that situation, where just reaching out and saying "hey, I'm thinking about you" and asking how he's doing ... how much that helps. It's not lost on us and the entire family ... we're standing on everybody's shoulders," Sharadan Parks, Victor's aunt said.
There's also a 5K run/walk being planned for April 12.
The organizers are still looking for participants and sponsors for the event.
You can get more information on the Super V Facebook page.