From the time he was born until now, 6-year-old Jawn Fisher has been entranced by law enforcement. He loved the uniforms, the fight for justice, and the badges that show bravery and commitment. When Fisher was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, in 2021, his parents Chance and Sarah reached out to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and Palisade Police Department for help. The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports that both organizations jumped in, making Jawn an honorary police officer and even giving him his own cuffs and badge. Beyond law enforcement, the entire Grand Junction community has rallied behind the family. As Jawn now celebrates beating leukemia, his family expresses their gratitude for the level of support and care they received.
From Diagnosis to Today
Initially, Jawn started displaying signs like pale skin and easy bruising. His parents took him for testing. But with Sarah pregnant and nearly ready to give birth, coordinating the different appointments could sometimes be tough. Shane Fisher came into the world on May 1, 2021. Just two days later, Jawn was diagnosed with ALL. Tests showed that his platelet count was significantly lower than normal.
Over the last two years, he has undergone 12 blood transfusions and 60 platelet transfusions. He has shown remarkable resilience, even when times were tough. His parents could not be prouder!
On the 4th of July, his hometown of Palisade, CO held its annual parade. Jawn, alongside his friends on the force, led the parade on top of a float meant to raise awareness of pediatric cancers like ALL. One thing that his mom hopes to encourage is increased blood donations. She notes that blood donations can be immensely helpful during the treatment process and can save lives.
If you are in Palisade, CO or the surrounding area and would like to participate in a blood drive, Vitalant is holding a blood drive from 11am-1pm on July 21, 2023. Learn more here.
About Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is considered the most common form of pediatric cancer. It can also occur in adults but is much rarer; adult-onset ALL is often more severe and treatment-resistant. In ALL, the blood cell production within the bone marrow is impaired. As a result, the bone marrow produces immature blood cells that develop into cancerous lymphoblasts. Prior cancer treatment, certain genetic disorders, radiation exposure, and having a sibling with ALL increase the risk of having this cancer. Symptoms of acute lymphoblastic leukemia may include:
- Pale skin
- Bone pain
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Night sweats
- Joint pain
- Fever with no known cause
- Abnormal bleeding (such as frequent nosebleeds or bleeding from the gums)
- Easily bruised skin
- Shortness of breath
- Fatigue and general weakness
Treatment often takes between 2-3 years to complete and requires multiple stages. Doctors will use treatments like chemotherapy or bone marrow transplants based on each patient’s unique needs.