'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

  • North Korea reported to have fired missile, possibly landing in sea off Japan

    World News CBC News
    Japan's prime minister says North Korea has fired what is believed to be a missile and it may have landed in the sea off Japan. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that officials are analyzing the apparent launch and that he has called a meeting of the National Security Council. Source
  • Canada's longest-standing First Nations boil water advisory will end in 2018, Liberals say

    Canada News CBC News
    The Liberal government says it will spend nearly $9 million to upgrade, renovate and improve the water plant in Neskantaga First Nation, a northern Ontario community that has been without safe tap water since 1995. Indigenous Affairs and Northern Affairs provided the financial details of the plan on Thursday. Source
  • Tennessee judge pulls vasectomy for reduced jail time offer after backlash

    World News Toronto Sun
    A judge in central Tennessee has withdrawn a controversial order offering reduced jail time to inmates who volunteer for sterilization procedures after the plan drew a wave of criticism from health officials, prosecutors and civil rights attorneys. Source
  • Man imprisoned for 36 years rewarded new trial by high court

    World News Toronto Sun
    BOSTON — A Massachusetts man who won a new trial after spending 36 years in prison for a murder he says he did not commit has earned another legal victory. In a decision released Thursday, the state’s highest court rejected a request by prosecutors to reinstate Frederick Weichel’s conviction. Source
  • Ex-Nazi squad member stripped of citizenship again

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- A lawyer for a former Nazi death squad member says the Canadian government has once again stripped the 93-year-old man of his citizenship. Ronald Poulton says it is the fourth time the government has taken the step against Helmut Oberlander, and the Waterloo, Ont. Source
  • Seniors separated after decades of marriage 'desperate' to live together again

    Canada News CTV News
    Lorraine and Joe Papp have been married for 62 years, but for nearly the past two years they’ve been living under different roofs. Three years ago, the pair from Maple Ridge, B.C. moved into the assisted living facility Royal Crescent Gardens. Source
  • 5th border crosser this week dies crossing Rio Grande

    World News Toronto Sun
    EL PASO, Texas — A fifth person has died this week in the El Paso area after being pulled from the Rio Grande while attempting to cross from Mexico. U.S. Border Patrol agents were conducting a river patrol Thursday with Mexican law enforcement officials when the body of a man believed to be in his 30s was found. Source
  • Man says wife 'would not stop laughing' at him before allegedly killing her

    World News Toronto Sun
    Murder is no laughing matter. Witnesses aboard an Alaskan cruise ship said a man told them his wife “would not stop laughing at me” before he dragged her lifeless body towards the vessel's balcony to throw her overboard. Source
  • 83-year-old woman and 63-year-old son charged in murder-for-hire plot

    World News Toronto Sun
    PLAINFIELD, N.H. — An 83-year-old New Hampshire woman and her 63-year-old son have been charged in a murder-for-hire plot. Pauline Chase and Maurice Temple were arrested Thursday and charged with conspiracy to commit murder, solicitation to commit murder and attempt to commit murder. Source
  • Woman attacked husband with axe as children fled: Cops

    World News Toronto Sun
    KITTANNING, Pa. — Police say a Pennsylvania woman attacked her husband with an axe as their terrified children fled their home and called for help. Manor Township police say 41-year-old Melanie Sue Snyder was calm and emotionless as they found her walking up the street with a blood-stained T-shirt that read, “Nope, not today,” shortly after the attack Thursday night. Source