At 25 weeks pregnant, 33-year-old Jessica Pierson is undergoing radiation treatments after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer.
In a matter of weeks, her Santa Clarita Valley family went from celebrating her third baby boy’s gender reveal to finding out she was ill.
“We had the gender reveal. Everything was perfect,” her brother Tommy Clemente says.
The mom of two started experiencing unusual symptoms six weeks ago.
“She had been having a little bit of facial droopiness and a little bit of memory fog. She had some issues with her handwriting,” Clemente said. “She just knew something wasn’t right.”
After being hospitalized and undergoing tests, Pierson learned she has glioblastoma, a cancerous brain tumor.
“It was complete shock,” her brother said.
Pierson started undergoing radiation treatments and her next step is chemotherapy.
“They have to deliver the baby before they can do chemotherapy. So they’re trying to balance what’s best for my sister and what’s best for the baby,” Clemente said.
Doctors told the family the baby could be delivered before reaching 26 weeks, and will require neonatal intensive care.
Pierson’s symptoms have since progressed to extreme muscle weakness and have started to affect her mobility and speech.
“It’s called aphasia. Her speech is severely limited to single-word answers,” her brother said.
Pierson and her family have moved in with her parents so that they can give her 24-hour care.
Clemente set up a GoFundMe page to help his sister with medical bills, living expenses, and caring for her children, 3-year-old Carter and 4-year-old Landon. They’ve received more than $35,000 in donations as of Thursday night.
“The only thing for us to do is to be positive. The people around us, the people in our community… they have reached out with tremendous support,” Clemente said. “She’s always been strong, she’s always been determined. She’s always had a strong will about her. “