RUTHERFORD COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Know it's a holiday weekend, but I got this email and wanted to share because so many of you care and ask about updates on Parker and Preston Jackson.
These Rutherford County brothers are both battling cancer. When they recently went to Houston for treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center, they ended up meeting an NFL star who grew up in Rock Hill.
Cornerback Jonathan Joseph went to Northwestern High School (Rock Hill, South Carolina) and University of South Carolina, but now plays for the Houston Texans.
When he met Parker and Preston at the Texans stadium, he told them he was home when their story aired on TV, and remembered reading about them as #MollysKids on Facebook.
"I love how small a world it is," Mom Sharon Sechriest said. "Who would've thought?"
Parker and Preston are both battling pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer. Parker, four years younger, was diagnosed first. Six weeks later, Preston was diagnosed with the same thing.
It wasn't mere coincidence. The boys both have a mutation in their DNA that causes chaos in their endocrine systems.
We first featured them in April, then again in May when Wingate Universitygave Parker a full-ride scholarship to their school. (Watch his reaction in a priceless video here >> http://tinyurl.com/ParkerWingateMKs)
After our article, they were also featured in People magazine.
"Everything has just felt whirlwind," Sharon said. "Meeting Jonathan Joseph was great. So was meeting another player, Corey Moore (picture below). My friend helped us get a tour of the stadium and those guys made the whole trip to Houston."
As for medical updates, Sharon said Preston needs surgery in his near future. They're both still trying to fight this genetic, rare cancer.
"So much has happened in just the past few months," Sharon said. "My boys are keeping positive attitudes."
Thanks for the pictures, Sharon. Love hearing that a hometown sports hero hasn't forgotten where he came from.