By Melanie Speicher - [email protected]
Dan Jacobs and his family, left to right, Samantha, Alexis, Dan, Jennifer, Ryan and Renee.
Dan Jacob’s family when he was growing up: front row, left to right, Dan, Chuck, Dorothy and Charlie; and back row: Paul, Mike, Randy and Pam.
FORT LORAMIE — A night of fun has a serious meaning behind it.
Friends and family of Dan Jacobs, 46, of Fort Loramie, are holding a fundraiser Saturday, April 30, to help raise funds for Jacobs’ expenses as he prepares for radiation treatment to reduce the size of a tumor wrapped around his jugular vein.
This isn’t the first time Jacobs has faced surgery and radiation treatment.
When Jacobs was a boy, he said, he was “sick all the time. My mom was taking me to the doctor all the time.”
The son of Chuck and Dorothy Jacobs, he said one day he couldn’t move his fingers and he was suffering from headaches. So his parents took him to the emergency room.
“The doctors were changing shifts,” he recalls of the visit when he was 13 years old. “The doctor leaving told the other one to do a CATscan. They found a tumor at the back of my neck on the base of the skull that was stopping the fluid from moving.”
The next thing Jacobs knew, he was being transferred to Dayton Children’s Hospital. He was in the hospital for a week, preparing for surgery. Doctors released him and he went home for two weeks. Then it was back to the hospital for surgery.
“They were able to remove most of the tumor,” he said. “I was in the hospital for two weeks.”
When he returned home, the Jacobs house became the place to be after school.
“My friends got off the bus stop at my house to help me with my homework,” said Jacobs, who attended school in the Hardin-Houston School District. His friends’ help ensured that he didn’t fall behind in his school work while undergoing treatment for the cancer.
After the staples and stitches were removed, Jacobs had radiation treatment five days a week for six weeks.
Jacobs believes the radiation treatment he received has caused other medical problems as he grew older. He’s had back problems — even though doctors say the radiation didn’t cause the issue — and he’s worn hearing aids for 20 years.
He was declared cancer free after the radiation treatment and had checkups twice a year for seven years to make sure the cancer didn’t come back.
“Everything was good until Feb. 15 of this year,” said Jacobs. “I was having tingling in my fingers and feet. We didn’t know what caused it.”
He was also having blurred vision from time to time.
On Feb. 15, while he was at work, Jacobs suffered from all three symptoms at the same time. He called his wife, Jennifer, and she came to work at took him to the emergency room at Joint Township District Memorial Hospital in St. Marys.
He underwent tests to see if he had suffered a heart attack. A CATscan discovered a tumor on his forehead.
“It was then the middle of the night and they said they were going to keep me and then transfer me to a Lima hospital in the morning,” said Jacobs.
As family members were notified of his health problems, his sister-in-law said he should go to Miami Valley Hospital. So the family decided to follow her recommendation of he went to Miami Valley Hospital for more tests.
“They did another CATscan and MRI,” said Jacobs. “They discovered another tumor on my neck.
“They thought the tumors were probably caused by the radiation I had as a child,” said Jacobs. “They didn’t have the knowledge back then that they do today. They didn’t have pinpoint accuracy with the treatment like they do now.”
Jacobs was sent home from the hospital and returned on Feb. 16 to have the tumor removed from his forehead. He was in the hospital for four days.
“I went home with a hole in my head,” said Jacobs, “and a helmet to wear. That was to protect the hole in my head in case I fell down.”
He wore the helmet for three or four weeks and then back to the hospital for another surgery on his forehead.
He had an MRI done and his skull was recreated on a 3-D printer so that a piece of plastic could be made the exact size as the hole in his head. Surgeons installed the plastic in the hole with titanium screws.
“I can still get an MRI even with the screws,” said Jacobs.
He’s now waiting for the stitches and staples to be removed from the latest surgery so he can begin radiation treatment on the tumor on his neck.
“This tumor is wrapped around my jugular vein so they can’t do surgery,” he said. Doctors are hopeful the radiation shrinks or kill the tumor. He’ll undergo radiation treatment for 28 days.
“It shouldn’t be as bad as it was with the last radiation treatment 30 years ago,” he said. “They do think I might have more hearing loss.”
After the radiation treatment is done, doctors will return to the tumor that was on his forehead and do regular radiation treatments to make sure it’s dead and doesn’t grow back again.
The tumor on his forehead was noncancerous. Doctors feel the one on his neck is also noncancerous.
Because of the tumors and treatment, Jacobs has been unable to work since Feb. 15.
“I can’t drive. I can’t pick anything up that weighs more than 10 pounds,” he said. “I’m just sitting around the house being bored.”
His wife is working and also taking him to his doctor’s appointments. She also takes their children to practices when needed. Their oldest daughter, Samantha, 17, has her license so she helps with some if the driving responsibilities. Their other children are daughter Alexis, 15, and twins, Ryan and Renee, 13.
“My wife has been amazing,” said Jacobs. “She’s going to work and keeping everything gong. She takes the kids to softball games, practices and me to appointments. The oldest can drive so she helping out as much as she can. “
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.
We appreciate you sharing our content on social media.
Please consider following us by clicking below.
Send this to a friend