Cancer hits Jacobson family of Perry twice in two months

Back-to-back cancer diagnoses put strain on family's resources

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Roger Jacobson, 18, of Perry, a 2019 graduate of PHS, received some very scary news this week: he has a brain tumor.

Roger Jacobson, 18, of Perry, a 2019 graduate of Perry High School, received some very scary news this week: he has a brain tumor.

Roger is the youngest of the three children of Gene and Lisa Jacobson of Perry. The family was already anxious over Lisa’s diagnosis last month of uterine cancer and her upcoming surgery Oct. 7, and now Roger’s illness has compounded their worries.

“He was starting out in life by going to DMACC,” said Genia Medina of Perry, Roger’s sister, “but he’s had to leave college due to this illness. He just started chemo and radiation.”

Roger is currently in Room 412 of Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines. Genia said her brother might be released on Friday for a few days before he has to return to continue treatments, but a fever he developed Wednesday night might postpone his release.

“We need your prayers this morning,” Lisa Jacobson said Thursday morning. “Roger has developed a fever. It is above 100. This could be trouble. They have given him a antibiotic. I am bound and determined not to let this get me down. I don’t let negativity in my thoughts or his room. Please pray for my son. Thank you.”

Genia is worried about her little brother, whom she plainly loves and admires.

“He’s hardly ever been sick in his life until now,” she said. “Even during this trying time, he’s still in good spirits and is taking this head on and better than the rest of our family. Instead of our being super strong for him, he’s being strong for us, especially our mom.”

Genia said her brother has always been a joyful boy who brings happiness to others.

“He loves to sing and was very active in the choir in high school,” she said. “He always has a smile on his face and if you are down, he will do everything in his power to make you laugh even if it causes him to look silly doing it.”

The multiple medical challenges are causing a big strain on the family, especially on their father, Gene Jacobson, who is forced to miss a lot of work in running back and forth, caring for his wife and now his son as well.

Genia has started a fundraising campaign, called Roger’s Medical Fundraiser, in order to help with the bills.

“My parents are not ones to ask for help,” Genia said, “especially my dad, so I am asking for them. Anything would help, and we thank you in advance. Funds go straight to an account with only my dad’s name on it.”

She is worried about her little brother but trusts he will pull through and beat his brain cancer.

“Roger just turned 18 in June, so he’s still a baby in my eyes,” she said. “But he’s very bullheaded and won’t let this stand in the way of his bright future.”

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