NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Home for the holidays, and 3-year-old Eloise MacEachern couldn’t be more excited.
Eloise, her mother Brianna and baby brother Jan-Blaise walked together inside their Norfolk house Sunday for the first time since last January.
Brianna showed 10 On Your Side baby bottles sitting right in the window where she last left them.
“So these are labels I would use to label his bottles for daycare. We still have like ‘1/9’ and ‘1/10.’ He was diagnosed on Jan. 8,” Brianna MacEachern said.
Brianna, a NICU nurse, and her husband, Blaise, an ER doctor, knew something was wrong when Jan-Blaise stopped eating and his head began to rapidly grow.
Doctors discovered a monstrous tumor had invaded his brain.
“He was 3 months old and it looked super, super scary,” Blaise MacEachern said.
It led them to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, where they diagnosed what is typically a benign treatable mass.
“Unfortunately he is in the 1 to 10 percent of kids that have a more aggressive, more malignant version,” Blaise MacEachern said.
They didn’t have much time, and wanted to enjoy every minute. They considered going home into hospice care.
That’s when small miracles started happening.
Two weeks ago, Jan-Blaise started eating solid food. He’s sitting up, babbling and looking at the beautiful Christmas lights.
“We didn’t think he had sight. We thought he was totally blind. We know he can see — we definitely know he can see,” Blaise MacEachern said.
Jan-Blaise is on a new drug that slows the tumor’s growth.
“I don’t take anything for granted as far as what he can do right now because it’s truly remarkable,” Brianna MacEachern told WAVY.com.
There are no guarantees, but there is hope and they will cherish this Christmas — and everyday — as a true gift.
Jan-Blaise MacEachern has undergone several surgeries and required several blood transfusions.
His family’s church — Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Norfolk — will hold a blood drive in his honor Dec. 30 from 3-7 p.m.
The church is located at 6400 Newport Avenue in Norfolk.
Those unable to give blood can give other ways by volunteering for registration or check-in, writing the family a letter or a card, praying for them, or signing up for the MacEachern meal train.