In 2016, North Carolina brothers Preston, 21, and Parker Jackson, 18, were diagnosed with the same pancreatic cancer that their dad, Wayne Jackson, 46, had battled in 2014, and the diagnosis sent major shockwaves through their family.
“I did a lot of crying and a lot of praying,” the boys' mom, Sharon Sechriest, told People. “It’s hard for me to swallow that both of my kids and their father have cancer, but I tell them that they will get through it and be fine.
“They are so loved and [I] will do anything in my power to make sure they live a long life.”
Wayne was diagnosed with MEN-1, a condition associated with tumors of the endocrine glands, in 2014, and doctors discovered 12 cancerous pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors in his body. The boys soon tested positive for MEN-1, and doctors found Parker’s tumors in February 2016 and Preston’s were discovered six weeks later. The constant pain they are in makes leading their normal lives a struggle, but they are battling together with their father as they talk about their cancer.
“I feel guilty,” Wayne said. “I know it’s not my fault, because I had no idea I had this condition until a few years ago, but to see the boys suffering and going through the same things I do — I feel a sense of guilt."
“When I’m by myself and I think about it, it hurts.”
Every few months, the boys fly to Houston to visit specialists, and Sechriest, who has been separated from Wayne for 17 years, shared that while the boys will need surgery, doctors are trying to hold off as long as possible.
"With this condition, they will go through many surgeries in their lifetime," she said. “It’s not a good diagnosis.”
Wayne has a 9-year-old son with his second wife, and the boy also has the the MEN-1 gene, although he has no sign of tumors.
“I don’t have words, to find out I have three kids that will have to follow in my footsteps and have to deal with this condition their entire lives too, it’s devastating,” Wayne said. “We lift each other up to the Lord in prayer and make the best of what God has given us.”
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