Molly’s Kids: Meet Jackson Hall, a Bessemer City 6th grader

Jackson lives in Bessemer City and is a 6th grader at Mountain Island Charter School in Mount Holly.
Jackson lives in Bessemer City and is a 6th grader at Mountain Island Charter School in Mount...
Jackson lives in Bessemer City and is a 6th grader at Mountain Island Charter School in Mount Holly.(Jackie Hall)
Published: Apr. 3, 2023 at 10:05 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - New week, new amazing kids in our community. This is 11-year-old Jackson Hall. Jackson lives in Bessemer City and is a 6th grader at Mountain Island Charter School in Mount Holly. His mom, Jackie Hall, works there along with her friend Malinda Cobb.

Malinda is actually the one who wrote first about Jackson. We’ve since gotten permission from Jackie and her husband Jason, to shout their son here to the world.

Seven years ago, Jackson was diagnosed with an Apendimoma tumor. He had a surgery in 2016 to remove it at Levine Children’s Hospital, and then 30-weeks of radiation therapy in Jacksonville, Florida. Recovery was longer than expected. During that time, he was diagnosed with Posterior Fascia Syndrome. This means at the age of four, Jackson had to learn to walk and talk again. He worked hard, his family says, and for more than six years, had clear scans.

Jackson was considered total remission. No problems.

But back in February, he began having headaches and vomiting at school. Jackson loves baseball and basketball, and started feeling unsteady while playing. His family took him in for a C-T scan. It showed what doctors believed to be scar tissue left over from the radiation seven years ago. Jackson was treated with Steroids. But, just to be sure, doctors also did a biopsy—the second time Jackson had a brain procedure in his short life.

The biopsy showed that so-called scar tissue, might be cancer.

At that point, doctors decided to get into Jackson’s brain and remove whatever happened to be in there. If you’re counting, and Jackson’s family certainly was, this was brain procedure number three.

What doctors found was a pair of high-grade brain tumors.

It was cancer, again.

Officially, Jackson’s diagnosis was radiation-induced glioma.

Meaning, the radiation Jackson had as a toddler to treat the original cancer, caused a different cancer. This time, an extremely aggressive form.

Statistics show 3% of people in Jackson’s situation are diagnosed with a second cancer. His family says most of his medical team has never seen this happen before.

On March 6th, Jackson had another surgery where doctors removed 75% of the tumors. He is now waiting to start radiation to fight those that remain. This time the radiation will be in Atlanta.

His family is also awaiting results from genetic testing to see if any trials will work with Jackson’s genetic makeup. The goal would be to create better results than radiation alone. They’d also like, they say, to reduce dependence on the steroids, which make him sick.

If the radiation doesn’t work, there is an only 15% survival rate after two years. His family is not focusing on that, rather, choosing to focus on hoping the radiation does what it needs to do. It’s a lot. It’s a lot for a family who thought their child had beaten cancer once already, and didn’t expect to be back in the battle, with a form more severe.

In a way to place their heavy emotions with Jackson’s illness, after his first round with cancer, his family started a non-profit called the No Brainer Foundation to help other families facing childhood cancer with bills (gas, power, medical, etc). It works closely with Levine Children’s social workers.

The t-shirt you see here? That’s Jackson’s ”No Brainer” shirt. In a picture I’ll post below from the back, you can also see his original scar from the surgery.

The back of Jackson's shirt
The back of Jackson's shirt(Jackie Hall)

Few photos also below from last weekend, when the foundation participated in the Community Foundation Run. Its largest annual fundraiser is the “No Brainer National,” a drag race on May 12-13th at the Shadyside Dragway Shelby Nc. Find more on the foundation website.

Jackson is an athlete, who plays left field in baseball. He loves collecting sports cards, playing Xbox, and loves his dogs, Kane and Chassie. His school and baseball team and church are behind him 100%.

Attitude is everything. You’ve got lots of support, Jackson, and we’re ready to follow your journey.

Please keep us updated as things progress.

Welcome to #MollysKids.