“Zack is a fighter, a believer, and an amazing kid who puts 100% into everything he does”
Zack’s intense medical battle started with a simple symptom that has happened to many of us during our lives: headaches. In May 2013, the teen started experiencing terribly painful headaches that increased in severity and frequency over the next few months. Two days before his 18th birthday, Zack underwent an emergency MRI that discovered a tumor the size of a baseball on his brain.
The usually upbeat teen was rushed to the hospital and surgery was scheduled for the following week. Unfortunately, Zack’s tumor was extremely aggressive, and he underwent emergency surgery sooner than expected. Doctors didn’t give a positive prognosis for the results; they said if he survived, it was likely that Zack wouldn’t be able to talk or walk. Once removed, the tumor was sent for testing and diagnosed as a primitive neuroectodermal tumor, a malignant tumor of the central nervous system that tends to spread easily through spinal fluid.
Zack started with 31 treatments of radiation and continued with eight cycles of chemotherapy. He visited the hospital every Thursday for an overnight stay for two weeks and then took four weeks off between each treatment. The brave teen finished his 4th cycle but suffered through daily battles of extreme nausea, loss of appetite and lost a dramatic amount of weight.
“Before his battle with cancer, Zack was very upbeat and happy,” recalls his mom Lina. “He was prepared to attend college but that has been put on hold. However, Zack is a fighter, a believer, and an amazing kid that puts 100% into everything he does.”
Zack finished his treatment in August 2014, but started suffering from seizures in January. Doctors conducted more tests and did another brain surgery only to find that the tumor had grown significantly and needed to be removed. Once again, Zack needed more chemotherapy. After finishing the treatments, Zack was declared in remission.
UPDATE July 2015: Zack continues to battle against his illness. Even though he was declared in remission a few months ago, he suffered more seizures in June. Doctors discovered the tumor had grown again. Zack just started a stronger, more invasive, form of chemotherapy in an attempt to shrink the tumor.
Kids Wish Network can’t wait for Zack to finish this next round of treatment so he can get his dream come true! Check back later for more updates and details about his wish!