Preissler was diagnosed with a condition called IgA nephropathy nine years ago, and she received a kidney from her older sister a year later. Although Preissler never had to endure dialysis, Jameson still looked to the medical student when his doctors were trying to figure out how to best treat his renal cell carcinoma, a kidney cancer that is rare among children.
Jameson takes a cocktail of daily medications, including oral chemotherapy. He also had to go on a diet low in sodium, potassium, and phosphorous, which meant giving up some of his favorite foods, including milk, chocolate, peanut butter, and pizza.
“His father and I sat down and had a talk with him,’’ said LaPrise, who runs a housing program for adults with mental illness in Gardner. “We said his issues were because of cancer. He asked if he would die. We said, ‘Absolutely not.’ ”
On Tuesday, doctors declared Jameson free of cancer, clearing him for a kidney transplant. He is on the waiting list for a donor organ, and because of his age, he goes to the top of the list, Salerno, his physician, said.
“I have no doubt in my mind that he’s going to beat all this stuff,” LaPrise said.
Just as the game of Brain Quest was getting interesting Wednesday afternoon, Preissler had to go back to class, much to Jameson’s disappointment.
“Sorry, dude,” Preissler said. “I can stop in on Friday.”
“Can I ask you one more question?” the boy said, not wanting to let go quite yet. “Can you see a grizzly bear on the state flag of California or West Virginia?”
“California,” she said.