Jacob Larrazabal

Jacob is a kind, loving, brave young man. He loves to laugh and brings smiles and laughter to our family. He has seven siblings who love him dearly.

On October 19, 2020 our lives changed forever. Jacob (18 yrs old, freshman at Thomas University) was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma on his upper spine. (Ewing’s Sarcoma is a rare bone cancer that only effects around 200 children a year in the United States.) He was a competitive swimmer since the age of ten and we suspected the shoulder pain to be a pulled or tight muscle due to taking two months off from swimming because of the Covid lockdowns. Jacob first started experiencing pain in late May 2020.  We began chiropractic visits, physical therapy visits, and even a dermatologist visit (thinking it was a lipoma).  It wasn’t until October 6th when Jacob returned home for a fall break that we noticed his shoulder pain (knot) had grown dramatically. The following day we visited an orthopedic doctor and had an X-ray on his shoulder. The X-ray was inconclusive and we were sent in for an MRI the following day. At this point cancer was not even on our radar of a possible diagnosis.

Unfortunately the MRI was also inconclusive, although it showed a mass that was 9cm x 6cm x 4cm extending from his spine. He was then scheduled for a biopsy at CHOA – Scottish Rite on October 16th. On the 19th we received the scariest of news that it was in fact cancer.  A week later he had lung and bone marrow biopsies and his port placement.  On November 4th he began his first round of 14 chemo treatments. Due to the location of the tumor on his spine surgery was not an option. Fortunately, Jacob was able to complete his fall semester online while undergoing chemo. After his 6th round of chemo he began 28 sessions of proton radiation, which were completed on March 11th.

Jacob is now two chemo rounds away from completing his cancer treatment.  We are hopeful that God will answer our prayers calling for complete healing and restoration of Jacob’s body. His scheduled last day of chemo will be Sunday, May 9, 2021 (Mother’s Day).

During this journey we have experienced many answered prayers through family and friends. Jacob’s swim family at Swim Atlanta provided him with so much encouragement and allowed him to continue swimming in between chemo treatments. We believe that Jacob’s ability to exercise assisted in his body’s ability to recover in between rounds and help him maintain a very positive outlook and attitude. There is no sugarcoating the nausea and other side effects to all the meds, but it was and still is God’s strength and mercy that has carried us through this valley. Our prayer now moving forward is that God would use Jacob’s story and our family’s journey to walk along side others going through the scary world of childhood cancer. Jacob is also looking forward to attending UGA in the fall.

God is loving and gracious and continues to pour His blessings into our lives!  We stand in awe of our Heavenly Father – Creator and Provider, Jesus Christ – our Savior and Protector, and the Holy Spirit – our Counselor and Guide

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