Celebrating the UPs: 4-Year-Old Beats Cancer For Second Time
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Fighting cancer is not easy. Beating cancer is sometimes even more difficult. And when the person in that battle is a toddler with down syndrome, there’s an entire list of reasons to be down.
But the story of little Indy Jones and her fantasy house is keeping everyone’s hopes … up.
“Heart-wrenching, yet so joyful at the same time,” Terah Jones said.
That right there is how she and Brian Jones remember the last four years of life.
Four years with Indy, four years with down syndrome, and four years with a disease that just would not go away.
“Not just cancer,” Jones said. “But a rare form of cancer.”
“It was horrible, and it was hard,” Terah Jones said. “I was an emotional mess, seeing my baby that sick. It was so hard.”
For nearly a year of her short life, Indy was in a battle just to keep it.
She fought cancer. She beat cancer.
And by the way, this girl rolled through hospital halls on her scooter, she likely never understood she even had cancer.
“She’s happy,” Jones said, “She’s so happy all the time.”
In celebration of her victory over the disease, the Make-A-Wish Foundation built Indy a backyard playhouse.
The playhouse had a certain theme she loved, from a certain movie she loved, featuring a tiny mailman she loved.
“Indy makes the cutest little Russell,” Brian Jones said. “The cutest little Russell.”
From the outside looking in, life was up.
But before Indy could even break in the new playhouse, her painful adventure with cancer came back.
And this time, it was worse.
“It was just the deepest punch in the gut ever,” said Terah Jones.
“She’s got a feeding tube in,” said Brian Jones. “She can’t walk. She can’t stand. She can’t talk. She doesn’t want to move.”
Chemo didn’t work. Transfusions didn’t work. And there was a painfully short moment when her tiny little body didn’t work.
Her lungs would not work, and a machine was keeping her alive.
“That was truly the darkest time because she could go any second,” Jones said. “So, we go and we whisper in her ear, ‘we love you,’ and it’s ok if you want to go, you know, we just let her know that she’s so special.”
Now, there was a picture from the hospital, where if you look closely enough, away from the tubes and broken skin, Indy’s fingers were crossed.
In a moment of desperation, her mother tossed it up to the universe, posting to social media.
She pled for fasting and begged for prayers. And what she got was fingers crossed from every corner of the world.
“And that was the day, where I just knew she was going to be OK,” said Terah Jones.
Brian Jones believed the same, saying, “If there ever was a time that God is going to give a miracle to somebody and save them, it’s now. And it’s her.”
Four days later, and with no explanation from science, cancer cells were back down. And the smiles were back up.
“I’m grateful for today,’ Jones said. “And there’s no promise for tomorrow. And there’s no guarantees of anything. But guess what? I have her today.”
While Indy’s adventures are far from over, it will be the last celebration in this backyard.
The Jones’ are moving.
And there was no easy way to get the “UP” playhouse out of their current backyard and into their new backyard.
“We kind of got this creative idea,” Jones said. “There’s no way to get this out, except it’s got to float out of here.”
So, with the help of a couple hundred helium balloons and a giant crane, the playhouse was lifted up.
Out of the backyard, and above the neighborhood.
Indy watched, as fantasy appeared to become a reality.
And while it’s difficult to say what this moment meant to Indy, it was the perfect moment for her family, friends, neighborhood and tens of thousands around the world following her on social media.
“Because look at her purpose,” Jones said. “Look at the people she’s touching. Look at what she’s been through.”
Fighting cancer certainly deserves a playhouse and beating cancer will earn you balloons.
And beating cancer a second time, well, that gives you every reason in the world to look up.
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