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Islanders rally around boy afflicted with brain tumor

Jacobi Henry - photo courtesy of Susan Brown
Jacobi Henry
— image credit: photo courtesy of Susan Brown

Jacobi Henry is very much like a lot of 1 1/2-year-old boys. He has a healthy appetite, enjoys playing with toy cars and even makes a pretend phone call every now and then.

“Jacobi is all boy and is always busy, busy, busy,” said grandmother Susan Brown. “He loves to take walks, play with sidewalk chalk and ride in his wagon.”

But unlike most toddlers his age, Jacobi faces a difficult challenge.

Jacobi went to the hospital Aug. 30 for what was thought to be an ear infection. Doctors would discover, however, that Jacobi had a tumor in his brain. He was rushed into surgery at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where doctors removed a peach-sized malignant tumor.

Jacobi now must undergo chemo and physical therapy at Children’s Hospital over the next six months. The tumor is reoccurring, but it is hoped that it will go away with chemo therapy.

His family, and more, has been there at his side every step of the way.

“There’s only one materialistic item Jacobi has ever known, of which absolutely never leaves his side, and that is his blankie,” Brown said. “That is now (there for) his comfort and healing at the hospital and we don’t dare even think of washing it while he’s awake!”

Jacobi’s family — father Jake Henry, mother Tierra Rapada  — have stayed at the Ronald McDonald House ever since he went to live at the Children’s Hospital full-time.

But Jacobi has other support as well.

“He has two sisters Savannah, 9, and Jordyn, almost 6, who absolutely adore him and cater to his every need,” Brown said. “He follows them around like a puppy dog.”

Islanders, too, have stepped up to support the family through donations gathered at the Safeway on High School Road. Jacobi’s family members set up and manned a donation booth on Sept. 22.

But they are not finished and need further assistance. Another fundraiser has also been planned to help Jacobi’s family take on the mounting medical bills. A silent auction and dinner will be held to help raise funds for the family on Oct. 20 at the Hazel Creek School on Koura Road.

Islanders can donate to an account set up for Jacobi at US Bank, or send donations to PO Box 138, Rolling Bay, WA 98061.

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