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Archive for Sunday, September 27, 2009

A special view on Game Day

KU holds seat for fan fighting cancer

Jackson, 9, and his mother, Denise DeBrine, both of Olathe, attended Saturday’s Kansas University football game in Memorial Stadium with ground-level seating, courtesy of KU. Jackson has a diagnosis of medulloblastoma, a form of brain cancer. For coverage of the game, see page 1C.

Jackson, 9, and his mother, Denise DeBrine, both of Olathe, attended Saturday’s Kansas University football game in Memorial Stadium with ground-level seating, courtesy of KU. Jackson has a diagnosis of medulloblastoma, a form of brain cancer. For coverage of the game, see page 1C.

September 27, 2009

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When Denise DeBrine and her son Jackson heard they were going to get upgraded to the “cushy seats” at Saturday’s Kansas University football game, DeBrine was expecting the ones that folded out with pads.

Instead, they were treated to the “really cushy” recliners that also came with straight-on views of the south end zone in the deluxe Touchdown Club seating section.

Wearing a No. 80 jersey with his name on the back, Jackson had an even better view when he watched bands take the field from the Jayhawks’ sideline at halftime. He was handed a game ball. And he had a chance to sit with the band as they capped off KU’s victory by playing “Home on the Range.”

All the upgrades came compliments of KU and were prompted by Junior KU Marching Band saxophone player Keenan Soto.

Jackson, a 9-year-old boy from Olathe who received a diagnosis of brain cancer, is a huge KU fan. Soto’s mom is a paraeducator who worked with Jackson. And she wanted to know if there was anything special the band could do.

Soto didn’t expect the family would get the “complete hookup.” But they did.

“It was a huge blessing. (My mom) was thrilled. It was exactly what she wanted for them,” he said.

At the age of 6, Jackson received a diagnosis of medulloblastoma, a form of brain cancer. After surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, Jackson was cancer free for two and a half years.

However, at the start of this school year, the cancer returned to the back of Jackson’s neck and spine. This time, the cancer is inoperable and the best hope is for chemotherapy or the possibility of a breakthrough drug trial.

“He is such a good sport and has such a good attitude,” DeBrine said.

Being a Jayhawk fan runs in Jackson’s family. His mother attended the school for a while and his grandmother graduated from KU. The family even keeps a “Hawk’s Nest” in their home with Jayhawk memorabilia.

“Anything to do with Jayhawks, he is here,” DeBrine said.

Jackson’s connection to the KU Marching Band didn’t end Saturday. Band members plan to play at a benefit for Jackson next week.

“He has this sense of humor despite what he has gone through. He just puts a smile on your face,” Soto said. “It’s such a cool thing.”

Comments

Robert Kiefer 4 years, 6 months ago

Way to go marching jayhawks. Very cool!

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Bill Thompson 4 years, 6 months ago

Great story! Kudos to Keenan and KU for making this kid's day!

To Jackson and family, don't ever give up; keep fighting! I will keep you all in my prayers!

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introversion 4 years, 6 months ago

Good, good, good. What a great story. My heart and prayers are with Jackson and his family. I'm a childhood cancer survivor and I hope they know that he can be too. Stick with it. Best of luck, and kudos to the lj-dub for doing some worthwhile reporting.

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M. Lindeman 4 years, 6 months ago

Bless there hearts, my prayers are with you.

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whitney harper 4 years, 6 months ago

What a wonderfull thing to experience. He got to do something I would love to do. An awesome treat for an awesome kid who keeps on fighting and pushes forward to complete his goal. WAY TO GO!

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edjayhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

It would be great if he was given the opportunity to lead the team out of the tunnel on game day.

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maxcrabb 4 years, 6 months ago

Best of luck to Jackson and his family.

I hope the players see the kind of kids that look up to them as role models. They need a reality check like this to show that even people who have the worst circumstances can learn to enjoy life.

Maybe then they can drop their petty differences and realize how lucky they are to be where they are.

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persevering_gal 4 years, 6 months ago

Way to keep fighting, Jackson! I'm so happy that you got to have the best seats in the house! What a great game to be at! Best of luck to you!

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