Meet Mason! Mason Ferguson is an outgoing, loving 15 year old. He loves having nerf gun battles with his family and playing Mario on Nintendo Switch. He has a major sweet-tooth, especially when it comes to white fudge covered pretzels. He is also a pro at peeling and eating crawfish. Mason is your typical, rambunctious, kind-hearted kid.
Unfortunately, Mason has been battling brain cancer for almost three years. Mason was first diagnosed with a brain tumor on July 2, 2015. Mason remains joyful and optimistic through his battle. Some days are harder than others as he struggles through the pain of getting out and about but he doesn’t let that stop him.
Mason wants everyone to know that he is not the only child fighting a battle and wants his family and others to continue to fight for other children. Jessa Rodriguez explained that for Mason’s 15th birthday, which he celebrated this past February, he wanted everyone to donate to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. His goal was $200 and in less than two weeks he raised over $1,000. “He is a remarkable kid”, Jessa shares.
This past Saturday, Jessa Rodriguez and Brea McPherson hosted a “Picture a Cure” event in where they photographed families for donations only. All proceeds went to support Jessa’s cousin, Mason, and to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
Jessa shares, “I would like to say that this entire event would not have even happened if it weren't for an incredibly selfless photographer reaching out to me and telling me her idea. Her name is Brea McPherson of Brea McPherson Photography and I am seriously so grateful.”
Jessa adds, “This whole thing was her idea and all of these wonderful photographers came together to help us make this possible.” Ashlie Morris of Ashlie M. Photography and Sierra Jones of Sierra Jones, LLC also participated in the event to help raise awareness and support of childhood cancer research.
Jessa states, “Mason has made major leaps and bounds with his health and even made it to remission.” Unfortunately the good news didn’t last. Over the past few months, Mason’s cancer has made a comeback.
Thirteen families participated in the “Picture a Cure” event. Jessa’s goal was to reach $2,000 for St. Baldrick’s Foundation and have additional funds to support Mason. So far, the event has raised $1,172. Jessa continues to share the fundraiser in hopes to reach her goal of $8,000. Once she reaches her goal for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, she will travel to Nashville where she will shave her head for cancer research. “I currently have just under 25 inches of hair to donate. I have been growing it out since Mason was first diagnosed with Brain Cancer.” Photographer, Candice MacDonnell, also pledged to raise $1,000 for the fundraiser and will shave her head, with Jessa, if she reaches her goal.
St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a childhood cancer research organization powered by volunteers and donors. St. Baldrick’s goal is to “determine the most promising research to fund and create funding priorities to make the greatest impact for children with cancer.” The statistics behind childhood cancer are unspeakable. According to stbaldricks.org, “Worldwide, a child is diagnosed every two minutes and before the age of twenty, about one in two hundred eighty five children in the U.S. will have cancer.” The foundation also states more children are lost to cancer in the U.S. than any other disease.
Mason continues to fight day-in and day-out. This has required an increase of medication and clinical trials and has resulted in many sleepless nights. Jessa shared that Mason’s mom and doctor have tried to appeal the insurance company’s decision to not financially support Mason’s next test study.
Jessa’s family continues to overcome the financial and emotional stress and will maintain the fight for Mason.
After the photo sessions, each family wrote a special note to Mason. Jessa plans to create an album of the families’ photos and special notes for Mason. She wants him to know all those who are sending him love and support.