North Bullitt High School JROTC student marches on, facing a third battle with brain cancer
When you live every day to its fullest, the people and things that matter most come to focus.
BULLITT COUNTY, Ky. (WDRB) -- When you live every day to its fullest, the people and things that matter most come to focus.
"Some kids die over cancer, and some kids make it," Jesse Schott said. "I'm lucky I made it. I'm lucky I'm alive."
At age 16, Schott is like the heart of the North Bullitt High School Junior ROTC drill team and color guard.
"He's been through a whole lot in his life," said Margie Schott, Jesse's grandmother. "...more than I could ever do."
Working twice as hard to get half as far, bouts with brain cancer at ages three and four left him with some special needs.
"They told us he had a zero percent chance of making it...," said Kyle Schott, Jesse's grandfather."
A stem cell transplant helped Jesse Schott survive his prior two cancer battles but affected his growth, hearing, speech and sight.
"He just faces everything and keeps going," said Victoria Reinstedler, Jesse Schott's JROTC teammate. "Nothing stops him."
Jesse's grandparents said he also has problem with short-term memory and can't read or write well. So his teammates put in extra work to help him learn the drills.
"Even though he struggles, he still cares about everyone else," said Mackenzie Stayton, Jesse Schott's JROTC teammate.
A biopsy Tuesday confirmed Jesse Schott has brain cancer for a third time. And this time, the family said the tumor is eating away at a portion of his skull behind his ear.
"They're like a group of doctors, and they'll decide what we're going to do, and we have to wait and see what they say," Margie Schott said.
But on Friday, just days out of the hospital, Jesse Schott will take to the football field and command the North Bullitt High School JROTC color guard for the first game of the season.
"It's real exciting," Jesse Schott said. "I've never been the (game) commander before. I can't wait to do it, and I think it's a wonderful thing."
The teen who practices the drills of those who fight for our country is in a fight for his life, fully focused on what matters most.
"It's a hard thing to go through, but pray to God you make it," Jesse Schott said. "And if you don't make it, God needs you for something else."
The Zoneton Masonic Lodge is giving all proceeds of Saturday morning's breakfast buffet to the North Bullitt JROTC Drill Team and Boy Scout Troop 007, of which Jesse Schott is a member. Breakfast is open from 7:30-11 a.m. Saturday. A $5 donation is requested, but any amount will be accepted.
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