Jackson became an ambassador after he attended Ticket to Hope and has been a part of the Cure Kids family since.
Jackson had always been a cheerful, playful, full of energy little boy. He loved school and was enjoying everything that went with it, until one day his behaviour started changing. After five months of specialists trying to figure out what was wrong, Jackson was diagnosed with a tumour the size of a tennis ball attached to his optic nerve.
Its official name is a junior pilocytic astrocytoma. Jackson will have to live with his brain tumor, and continue to have MRI scans for the rest of his life, to ensure there is no further growth.
Now 13 years old, he is in his second year of high school at Orewa College and is absolutely thriving. He loves cooking, school, tap dancing, acting, spending time with his family and being an active Cure Kids ambassador, often helping Cure Kids with photo shoots and events, sharing his personal health journey with others.
This year Jackson was cast in the ensemble of Spamalot – his local theatre’s musical production. He did an incredible job of singing, tap dancing and keeping the audience on the edge of their seats. He is an inspiring example of making the most of every opportunity.
Recently Jackson attended the Ingram Micro Golf Day where they raised more than $50,000 for Cure Kids. After Jackson’s poignant speech many of the golfers donated their prizes back to be auctioned off to raise additional funds and some kind golfers gave their prizes to Jackson for doing such a great job.
The Cure Kids family are extremely proud of Jackson and his progress through his cancer journey. He literally lights up a room when he walks in to it, and his humour and wit is second to none. He is also a very mature young man with a big heart. He attended Ticket to Hope again in 2015 as a senior ambassador and he did an amazing job taking the younger kids under his wing and providing support to the new ambassadors.
Brain tumours are the second most common cancer in young people after leukaemia. Cure Kids has funded research projects into brain tumours.