SCRANTON, Pa. -- A teenager from Scranton was recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, but since the diagnosis, the community has rallied behind him.
"Better from the first round, and the chemo is working so that's good," Jalen Chandler said.
Jalen says he is feeling better now, but back in January that was not the case. With stomach and back pains, suddenly the 14 year old's whole life changed.
"That could have also been mono, so we were waiting for the mono results, and when that came back negative, that's when the doctors decided to send us to Danville," Jalen's mother, Wynter explained.
Jalen was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia on January 3. It is a type of leukemia that grows very rapidly, so it is treated rapidly. Jalen's treatments at Geisinger near Danville are four to five weeks at a time, with Jalen getting chemo every 12 hours. For now, basketball and football are on hold.
"Eight touchdowns last year, star at everything he does," Wynter said, explaining her athletic, active, and energetic son.
Jalen is in eighth grade at South Scranton Intermediate School. Since the diagnosis, he is grateful for the support from his class and teammates.
"I love Scranton. I've lived here my whole life, so it means a lot," Jalen said.
"I can't even say thank you enough. It's been unbelievable. I'm overwhelmed with the calls, the texts, the donations, thank you, thank you, thank you," Wynter added.
There will be a fundraiser at the Ice Box on West Olive Street in Scranton this Saturday from 5-9 p.m. There will be food, basket raffles, and much more all as family and friends "Join in for Jalen."
"To show Jalen that the community is behind him and that everyone is there cheering him on through his treatment," said Frances Chandler, Jalen's aunt.
Jalen is the youngest of four, and his treatments are in the Danville area, so the funds raised at the "Join in for Jalen" event will help his family get back to a new normal.
"My sister is out of work during this time while Jalen is getting his treatment, so we're just trying to help them with the expenses for traveling and living," Frances explained.
Jalen expects to be at the fundraising event on Saturday, and then head back to the Danville area next Monday for his fourth and hopefully final treatment before he is remission. His family has also set up a GoFundMe page.