Jerfield's Story: “We felt loved and that helped us to stay strong.”

Jerfield's Story: “We felt loved and that helped us to stay strong.”
The world first heard of Baby Gordie this past spring, when his parents, Joshua and Jerfield, shared their family’s tragic story: Baby Gordie, just one month old, had a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer – one that sadly took his very short life on March 18, 2016. 
Gordie, who Jerfield calls her Little Cupid due to his Valentine’s Day birth, seemed your typical newborn. Standard tests performed at his delivery showed that Gordie was in perfect health and development, even though he was born slightly premature. 
It was just before Gordie’s two-week check-up when he started to get fussy and feeding him became difficult. That’s also when Jerfield says she noticed her baby’s head seemed larger than normal. On March 1, Jerfield took Gordie in for his check-up and made a point to ask the doctor about his head size. “That’s when our doctor asked for a second physician to come in and take a look at Gordie, and together they recommended I take him to the hospital for an ultrasound,” she recalls. With Joshua at work, Jerfield called him to tell him what happened at the appointment and the urgent need to get their newborn to the ER. Leaving his job, Joshua and Jerfield rushed to their local Calgary hospital where ultrasound results showed a mass on Gordie’s brain and a CT scan confirmed what it was: a brain tumour was taking up two-thirds of Gordie’s brain’s left hemisphere. “From that time on, everything happened so fast that I couldn’t believe it was real,” says Joshua. 
Baby Gordie’s health care team went quickly into action, scheduling the then-two-week-old for an MRI and surgical biopsy of the mass on his brain, which would confirm a glioblastoma diagnosis. When the MRI scan showed the incredibly fast spread of the brain tumour, doctors had to tell Jerfield and Joshua the news that Gordie would not survive a second surgery if they attempted to remove the mass.
For two more weeks, Gordie survived with his parents, brother Dylan, and many loved ones by his side. Jerfield says it was this incredible support – and the help she found through Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada – that made things possible for the family to stay strong in the face of such overwhelming circumstances. Finding the Foundation online and connecting with one of their staff members, Jerfield and Joshua learned about the programs and services available, and the Calgary Brain Tumour Walk
Despite the family’s grieving, joining the Brain Tumour Walk has helped turn the negative into positive, explains Joshua, as the event proceeds fund brain tumour research and specialized resources for patients. “It gives us a sense of direction knowing that we are not alone in this battle,” he also says of the community and cause behind the fundraiser. And while it’s especially painful for her family right now, Jerfield adds that their greatest hope is one day, when a child or adult is diagnosed with brain cancer, no one else has to face their same difficult journey. “I want to know that doctors can say, ‘Don't worry, we got this. There are options, there is a cure. You will be treated and you will be healed.’”
The 2016 Calgary Brain Tumour Walk takes place on Saturday, June 4th at Edworthy Park. Opening Ceremonies and Brain Tumour Survivor Recognition begin at 9:45am. Online registration is encouraged; there is no entry fee to participate. Brain Tumour Walks are family-friendly and non-competitive, and feature 2.5km and 5km routes for all abilities.
Thank you to Jerfield and Joshua for sharing Baby Gordie's story. The movement to end brain tumours is stronger because of you.


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