At first, Jack Lacey’s parents thought his crooked smile was just a phase.
As The Sun reports, the 3-year-old from Sheffield, England, suddenly developed a smile that only used half his face. At the time, his parents didn’t think it meant anything. His father, Wesley, recalled:
“Last month he started smiling with one side of his face, but we put it down to him seeing someone smiling like that and copying. We didn’t take any notice because it was so gradual, we just thought it was a bit funny, but this is his new smile.”
But soon after the appearance of his crooked smile, Jack also started getting night terrors and developed a blink. When he began walking around with his hands out in front of him, his parents were alarmed enough to take Jack to the hospital.
That’s when they received devastating news. Jack was diagnosed with a diffuse pontine glioma, an inoperable brain tumor. Doctors say the young boy only has six months to a year to live.
“The crazy thing is, the symptoms came about in the last four weeks, however, we’ve been told that the tumor has been growing for many months without symptoms,” Wesley explained. “The tumor he has is a known fast, aggressive killer.”
Now, Jack’s parents are wrestling with the knowledge that they will only have a few months with their son even if the treatment goes well. The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay funeral expenses and give Jack some good memories in the time he has left. Wesley told The Sun:
“Our little boy deserves to spend as many days as he can, enjoying what time he has left and as you can imagine, we all had so many plans. We want to use the money to fund day trips out, holidays, presents, meals out.
We also want to take him to the cinema for the first time and buy him a dog. Jack’s already said he wants to call him Waffle.”
On the GoFundMe page, Wesley explained that Jack is too young to know what is happening, though he does understand that something is wrong:
The other day he croaked to his mum that he will stop wobbling if he can go home. He thought he was just nipping to hospital to see Gadabout the Great and Princess Pearl from Zog, to have a look at him. He asked us if he was going to be in hospital forever.
Jack’s parents, who do understand and are watching their son try to cope with the aggressive treatment, say they are “broken” by the diagnosis. As Wesley told the Sun:
“The news has been the darkest time of our lives, I can’t even begin to think about him not being there. He hasn’t got any relatives who have passed away, there’s no one waiting for him.”