Little boy with Down Syndrome and Leukemia, family finds support through Easterseals

Local News

Almost 5-year-old Jacob Nicholas has an infectious smile, a contagious spirit and a heart of gold.  

Everyday his parents celebrate little victories and major milestone achievements made possible by the help of Easterseals. 

With the flick of his wrists, little Jacob Nicholas scores two points with his therapist. 

“He’s the most energetic and happy child you’ve probably ever met,” said Jedidiah Nicholas, Jacob’s Father.

“He is such a hard worker,” said Shawna Nicholas, Jacob’s Mother.

It hasn’t always been bike rides, smiles, laughter and successful stair climbing for this little boy with down syndrome. Jacob and his family got heartbreaking news in February of 2018. 

“Within five days of him being admitted [to the hospital], they basically came back and said, ‘we found cancer,'” said Jedidiah. “It was Leukemia and kind of our hearts skipped a beat. Never something easy to hear.” 

At just three-years-old, little Jacob began treatments. He had 93% of his body filled with Leukemia cells, but within the first fourteen days of treatments “they got it down less than one percent,” said Jedidiah.

So began the road to recovery, leading Jacob and his parents to Peoria for programs at Easterseals.

“This place has been amazing,” said Shawna. “The support that we’ve had. The communication that we’ve had. The love that Jacob’s therapists show for him is above and beyond.”

Jacob receives physical, speech and occupational therapies from Easterseals. That’s in conjunction with the therapy he receives at school. 

“You just see him light up from it,” said Jedidiah. “So it’s very beneficial with him.”

So through the high fives, being able to zip his own coat, and speeding down the hallway on an Amtryke, Jacob continues to progress in his development, fine motor skills, and also shine like a little boy should. 

Jacob still has about another year and a half of treatment before they can confirm that the Leukemia cells are gone.

Joins us for our two-day Easterseals telethon on March 1 and 2. 

You can donate HERE or you can text GIVE to 309-518-1090. 

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