A Taunton boy who was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer on Thanksgiving of 2020 recently got an incredible gift before his upcoming birthday on August 28. For the first time since his battle started, doctors were able to give Jace Dupra some good news: he was clear of cancer.

“He had a headache for about a year and a half. Nothing would work,” said his mother, Donielle Peterson, recalling the first warning signs that told her something wasn’t right with her son. “His pain moved down to his neck and his shoulders, and then on Thanksgiving, his eyes crossed right in front me.” She found out later that it was a result of a tumor pressing against his eye sockets.

They rushed to the hospital to discover that Jace was suffering from Stage 4 medulloblastoma. Doctors removed a large portion of the tumor from his brain, but it continued to spread.

Since then, Jace has been in and out of hospital rooms with his mom and his emotional support dog, Brady.

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“I wouldn’t be able to do this without him,” Peterson said of Brady. “He’s the sweetest dog.”

Courtesy of Donielle Peterson
Courtesy of Donielle Peterson

It has been an uphill battle for the past nine months, and during the first week of August, they got their first ray of hope when Jace's MRI came back clear.

“I didn’t believe it at first,” Peterson said. “Was this real? It was real and I am so grateful. My 10-year-old is kicking cancer’s butt.”

Medulloblastoma is so aggressive that a patient requires eight years of clean scans before it is declared in remission, so Jace’s battle continues as he receives chemotherapy at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Not only did he receive good news at the doctor and endless amounts of wet kisses from Brady, but Jace will be celebrating his 10th birthday on August 28. However, the big celebration happens on August 29, when Cars for Kids escorts a parade of vehicles down their street to shower him with love and support from the Taunton community and beyond.

It’s emotional to think of how much Jace has had to deal with at such a young age, but from the looks of his latest MRI, better days could be on the horizon. First thing's first, though – this little man has some celebrating to do.

Happy Birthday, Jace!

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