Residents of Belmar, Lake Como, and so many other surrounding beach towns are coming together to do whatever they can for this young girl and her family.
Maria, Jackie's older sister, has this to say about her little sis:
"My little sister, Jackie Minchala, has been a student at Belmar Elementary School her whole life. She was due to start 8th at the beginning of September. Unfortunately, on August 14th, 2020, Jackie (at only 13 years of age) was diagnosed with a very rare type of cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma. This is a very aggressive type of cancer that is now at stage 4, has metastasised to several parts of her body and is inoperable.
She has been a basketball player since second grade and currently plays for New Jersey Shoreshots. Jackie dreams of playing for the WNBA one day. She was fine until the beginning of August when she noticed a lump underneath her foot. The lump quickly grew, as well as pain in her back and legs. She quickly developed another lump on her groin and one on her back.
Doctors at Hackensack Meridian Health's Jersey Shore University Medical Center quickly performed biopsies and Ct Scans to determine what it was and diagnosed Rhabdomyosarcoma. They claimed it spread to her lymph nodes, foot, groin, back (near the lung), 2 vertebrates, left hip as well as left femur.
Jackie began chemotherapy on September 2nd. She is currently receiving chemotherapy and dealing with the side effects.
I am her older sister. I grew up in Belmar as well but now live in London. I have started a gofundme page because I want to take her to Spain for an alternative treatment called Immunotherapy. It's a treatment that uses her own cells to fight the cancer. These cells are collected through the blood, trained in a lab and injected back into her body. This treatment is very popular in Europe but not available in the US.
Of course it is not covered by her insurance and is quite expensive. She is also doing therapy at Integrative Wellness Group in Belmar, where they have begun doing external testing to find the root of her cancer and, through her diet and innovative technology, they have begun an amazing but different approach to conventional medicine to help cure other symptoms that might have caused the cancer.
Again all these extra approaches are very expensive and we could not have begun all this without everyone's help not only through the Gofundme page, but also our local community including Belmar, Lake Como, Sea Girt, Bradley Beach, and surrounding towns that have supported us SO MUCH!!!
The amount of help we have received is unimaginable. From children doing lemonade stands, to a concert at Bar A coming up on October 25th, to moms cooking meals and bringing them to our homes, as well as local churches helping to pay some of our bills and even people we don't know reaching out to foundations to support us...It has all been amazing!
We will continue to fight until Jackie recovers, I was told at the beginning, that her chances were not the best but I will do everything humanly possible to fight for her whether it be here or in any country or treatment center in the world. Everyone that has helped has shown me that money will not be an issue and that we have an army of people behind us supporting us through this fight.
Jackie also has a twin sister named Kathy. I can't even imagine what these siblings are feeling, much less her parents Jorge and Clara. My love and prayers are with them all.