At 2 years old (2012) Jake was diagnosed with a high grade glioma brain tumor. He underwent a 7 hour brain surgery, 14 rounds of chemotherapy and 28 rounds of radiation, over a 1 year period at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Jake was in remission until a routine MRI scan in April of 2017 (7 years old) showed the brain tumor had returned. Jake underwent a 5 hour brain surgery, 6 rounds of chemotherapy and additional 33 rounds of radiation. He spent his summer at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
During treatment for this relapse, a routine scan was done November 2017 and it showed disease returned to same area of brain as previously, plus the cancer was spreading to other areas of the brain. Jake now had a tumor on his cerebellum and other tumors were beginning to form.
December 2017 an MRI was done after Jake was complaining of pain near his back. We found the cancer has spread all down his spine and a tumor was at his lower back. This was causing him to have difficulty walking, and even standing.
At this point Jake’s cancer was considered uncontrollable, and he was released from the hospital with no options to treat disease. It was at this moment we were told, Jake is going to die. He remained in his home, under the care of his parents Mike & Janet, and a local hospice. Jake passed away peacefully, in his bed on January 21st, 2018, just 6 weeks before his 8th birthday.
Since Jake’s passing, he has already helped in many ways, within the world of childhood cancer. Jake has donated his entire brain & spine to CHOP researchers, so they can begin to understand his tumor type and hopefully treat future kids. Jake had tremendous success with medical marijuana, while on hospice. Medical marijuana helped keep Jake comfortable and even eliminated all pharmaceutical products for the majority of his time. The NJ governor, Phil Murphy heard of Jake’s successes and obstacles with our state’s marijuana program, which prompted him to sign an executive order in Jake’s memory. This order mandates the state department of health to revise our program, and expand access to medical patients on many different levels. A bill has also been submitted for review, called Jake Honig’s Law, which would improve our program for future kids and adults, who need it most. We continue to work with the state in Jake’s memory to increase medical marijuana access, education and overall improvement.
Jake’s story has not ended with his passing, in fact it has just begun. Progress can be followed at Facebook.com/JakeHonig1 #belikejake