'It raises his chances': Family seeks help to fund 5-year-old's trial cancer treatment

When Jerylle Saquibal was diagnosed with cancer a year-and-a-half ago, his mom feared he wouldn't live to see his fifth birthday.

See Full Article

She certainly didn't expect the scene that played out in Calgary on Wednesday, when Jerylle was not only present to celebrate his fifth birthday, but was energetic enough to sing a song for an audience of well-wishers.

Dressed in a Batman costume, the outgoing boy belted out a rendition of "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas," and thanked all those present for helping pay for the treatments to keep his cancer at bay.

"Thank you for giving me all my medicine," Jerylle said.

His mother, Arlene Chavez, said that moment was a "big deal" for her because she wasn't sure it would ever happen. Back in July of 2014, Jerylle was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma – a childhood cancer that cannot be cured and must be treated through chemotherapy. Jerylle's family says the disease has only a 40-50 per cent survivability rate, with a 50 per cent risk of relapse.

"At one point I didn't think he would reach this stage, him turning five, so it's a big deal for us," Chavez told CTV Calgary.

"When a doctor tells you that your kid has cancer, all you can think is, he's going to die soon."

Jerylle's parents are raising money to pay for a new treatment that's been shown to help keep his type of cancer at bay. The treatment is currently at the clinical trial stage in the U.S., but it's not covered by Alberta's health care system.

The family has raised a little over $9,000 through a GoFundMe campaign to pay for the clinical trial, with a goal of $76,000 to pay for the costly treatments. Each of the seven treatments costs $18,000.

"This drug is important to us," Jerylle's father, Jorez Saquibal, told CTV Calgary. "It raises his chances."

Jerylle has already started with the treatments, and hopes to remain cancer-free so he can do all the things he loves.

"I like playing with my cousins and I love singing – and that's it," he told CTV Calgary.

Jerylle's family has set up a website to fully document his cancer struggles.

However, ask the five-year-old about the whole experience, and he'll give you a pretty good summary: "I had cancer and I needed a lot of pokes," he said.

With files from CTV Calgary



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Milos Raonic starts French Open with easy win

    Canada News CBC News
    Fifth-seeded Milos Raonic is safely through to the second round of the French Open after sweeping past Steve Darcis of Belgium in straight sets on Monday. The Canadian took just 92 minutes to beat the 38th-ranked Darcis 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 — taking the final game to love. Source
  • Homeland Security chief defends Russia back channel

    World News CBC News
    U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is defending an alleged effort by top White House adviser Jared Kushner to create back-channel communications with Russia, describing it as a "good thing" as the Trump administration sought to quell mounting questions over secret ties to the Kremlin. Source
  • Kelly defends plan for Russia back channel as a 'good thing'

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is defending an alleged effort by top White House adviser Jared Kushner to create back-channel communications with Russia as a "good thing," while the Trump administration sought to quell mounting questions over secret ties to the Kremlin. Source
  • Sri Lankan soldiers recover more bodies from mudslides

    World News CTV News
    PELMADULLA, Sri Lanka -- A group of Sri Lankan soldiers carried a body wrapped in a tarpaulin to police for identification, while others dug Monday through piles of mud, unearthing a motorbike, pieces of furniture and clothes, the only signs of eight homes that stood on Kiribathgala Hill just a few days ago. Source
  • Hiker falls to her death from cliff trail in Rattlesnake Point, Ont.

    Canada News CTV News
    MILTON, Ont. -- Halton Region police are investigating the death of woman who fell from a cliff along a walking trail in Milton. Police said the 23-year-old woman was with friends Sunday evening when she fell approximately 21 metres from the trail at the Rattlesnake Point conservation area. Source
  • CN Rail, union talks continue after job action threat

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    The union representing approximately 3,000 CN Rail employees is still in negotiations with the company’s management after threatening job action. The Teamsters union says the company plans to make changes to the current collective agreement that would “permanently and irreparably impact workers,” although a union official wouldn’t specify the subject of the negotiations. Source
  • Delays, cancellations continue at British Airways

    World News CBC News
    Travelers on British Airways and its sister airlines in Spain faced a third day of delays and cancellations Monday, mainly on short-haul flights in Europe, after the company suffered a colossal IT failure over the weekend. Source
  • 'A great honour': Delilah Saunders earns Amnesty International human rights award

    Canada News CBC News
    Delilah Saunders and five other leaders of the Indigenous rights movement in Canada have been honoured with Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2017. Saunders, the sister of the late Loretta Saunders, is an advocate for the rights of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. Source
  • Liberals hold onto lead as Nova Scotia campaign nears the finish line: poll

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia's political leaders are criss-crossing the province on the last full day of campaigning as a new poll suggests the Liberals have held onto their early lead. The Mainstreet/iPolitics poll out today suggests the three main parties are in the same place as when the campaign started, with Premier Stephen McNeil's Liberals edging up slightly. Source
  • Great white shark leaps into boat and lands on Australian fisherman: ‘Oh, a bloody shark’

    World News Toronto Sun
    CANBERRA, Australia — A 73-year-old Australian fisherman said Monday that he caught a far bigger fish than he hoped for when a 2.7-meter (9-foot) great white shark leapt into his boat, knocking him off his feet. Terry Selwood was left with a badly bruised and bleeding right arm where the airborne shark struck him with a pectoral fin as it landed on him on the deck of the 4.5-meter (15-foot) power boat Saturday off Evans Head, 725 kilometres (450 miles) north of Sydney. Source