Little Coast superhero in fight of his life
A SUNSHINE Coast family is in a race against the clock to save the life of their little superhero.
In September last year, Jake Rebeck, 7, was diagnosed with brain stem cancer and rushed to the emergency wards in Brisbane.
An MRI showed a 3.5cm mass deeply intertwined in his brain stem.
After seven hours of intense surgery, little Jake's fate still hung on a knife's edge.
Doctors found his cancer was slowly growing and contained to its location. His cancer is so rare chemotherapy is not a cure.
Fortune though has smiled on Jake through world-renowned Sydney surgeon Dr Charlie Teo who is confident of removing the cancer.
But lifelong family friend Jodi Theisen said Jake's need to get treatment was so urgent, his family has just two weeks to raise an extra $35,000 to afford the $50,000 treatment.
She described Jake as a superhero.
"He is just a lovely child, so sweet and kind," she said.
"Jake is very endearing, particularly for a seven-year-old. He is so polite to all the nurses looking after him.
"He has to wear an eye patch and post surgery has slowed him down. He understands there is something wrong but doesn't complain.
"He is amazing and so good when he plays with my kids and his younger sister Bella."
Headaches, vomiting, double-vision, muscle weakness, tremors and facial paralysis have been regular occurrences since his September diagnosis.
Both his parents, Paul and Nicole, are in the small business community, meaning they're without income for a lengthy period.
The sheer cost of the operation, compounded by anaesthetist bills, hospital excess and travel costs, is overwhelming.
Not that they ever questioned the possibility of not going to Sydney.
"He will have to go through extensive rehab, Dr Teo has to go through healthy brain tissue which presents huge risks of losing peripheral vision," she said.
"If this all happens he will never be allowed to drive.
"It is better than the alternative but who has a spare $50,000 lying around?
"They are such a hard working, lovely family. It is so sad."
Already the response from the Noosa community has been incredible, half of the funds have been raised for Jake's treatment but have not reached their goal.
You can help Jake in his fight via his GoFundMe page set up by Ms Theisen. You can also follow his journey via Facebook page 'Jake's Brain Cancer Fight'.