by Rachel Hunter
A “Friends For Jake” benefit will be held on Sunday, January 29 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Mullin's Restaurant, located at 1180A US Highway 11 in Gouverneur.
The event will be hosted by friends of Jake Ferrick, 8, the son of Jason and Angela Ferrick of Gouverneur – who is fighting against cancer after being diagnosed with Stage Four High Risk Neuroblastoma.
The following update was taken from Team Jake's GoFundMe page, posted November 30, 2016:
“Jake underwent 16 months of cancer treatment at Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse. He had extensive chemotherapy for months, radiation treatment, two stem cell transplants, and immunotherapy. He lost a considerable amount of weight. He lost his ability to walk, and he was unable to attend school during his entire first grade year.
“We were so hopeful for the ending scans to show us that all this horrible treatment had taken away this nightmare. Unfortunately, our hopes disappeared when we found out that he still had extensive cancer left in his hip. Jake's doctors told us that they had done all that they could do for him, and he would have to be referred to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, one of the best Neuroblastoma Research hospitals in the country.
“Two weeks later, Jake and his parents were on the way to Philadelphia. While there he underwent a new treatment called MIBG therapy where radioactive medication was infused through his body to hopefully begin a new regimen of cancer therapy. He also had a genetic study of his cancer by taking a small sample of tissue from inside his hip bone.
“Apparently, Jake suffers from a mutated ALK gene which continues to produce cancer cells. The doctors in Philadelphia are putting Jake into a clinical study where he can receive a medication that may be able to turn off this mutated gene. But before he could qualify for the clinical trial, he had to be built up nutritionally. Since he has been unable to eat much during this year and a half of treatment, he has become very thin and weak, so he has just been given a nasogastric tube which will infuse nutrition into his body hourly.
“We are hoping and praying that this clinical trial will be the answer to our prayers and bring our little Jake back to us cancer free and healthy, but it is going to be a long drawn out uphill battle with many trips to Philadelphia starting again on December 4th.
“We have been so blessed to have received both financial and emotional support from our awesome family, friends, and community. The outpouring of love and support has been heartwarming over this year and a half. But, we are afraid that all these trips to Philadelphia will be a huge financial burden to our family in the long run.”
Jake's friends – Trey D'Agostino, Robert (RJ) Kulp, and John-Michael Leader – wanted to help to lessen that burden, and so they decided to organize this dinner with the help of Tina Mullin of Mullin's Restaurant who said she believes God gave them the restaurant so that they can help others.
The “Friends For Jake” benefit will be held on Sunday, January 29 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Mullin's Restaurant, located at 1180A US Highway 11 in Gouverneur. It will feature a $10 spaghetti dinner, and the three youngsters will be the servers. Mrs. Mullin said meals can be split for children in attendance. There also will be take-outs available.
The event will also feature a bake sale (hosted by friends of Jake from St. James).
Everyone interested in attending are encouraged to wear yellow and maroon, Jake's favorite colors.
Those who are interested in donating toward the cause are encouraged to donate gas cards to help alleviate that cost for the Ferrick family.
Pre-sale tickets are available at the St. James office or by calling Mullin's at 287-0063.
by Rachel Hunter