Delran High School football player Jadon Phillips fights brain cancer

Communities in the south Jersey area, including RV, are pitching in to help


Photo courtesy of Phillips' GoFundMe page

Phillips and his mother, Gore, on May 18

Derek Derienzo, News Writer

On the morning of December 24, 2020, high school senior and football player from Delran Jadon Phillips, was rushed to the hospital after being found unresponsive. “That was the day that Jadon and his family’s life took a new direction,” states the description of the GoFundMe named ‘Jadon’s Aggressive Brain Cancer Battle’.

“He just received his driver’s license and anticipated his upcoming senior activities: prom, graduation and preparing for college where he was interested in continuing to play football,” says the fundraiser page’s description. The morning that Phillips was rushed to the hospital, it was discovered that he had blood in his brain and he needed emergency surgery. With his mother, Caisse Gore, at his side every step of the way, Phillips spent 35 nights in ICU at the Children’s Hospital Of Philadelphia (CHOP). In late January, Phillips and his family waited to hear if the cause of the bleeding was a blood clot or a tumor. 

“After tests were conducted, it was determined that Jadon had experienced symptoms due to a tumor,” says the donation page’s description. “On March 3, the tumor was removed and he and his mother were back in the ICU at CHOP for 17 days.”

Weeks after the tumor’s initial removal, as Phillips began physical and speech therapy with the support of his family, the tumor returned. At the end of March, Phillips was diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer.

The GoFundMe page for Phillips and his family reads, “Through all of this, the family’s faith in God has not wavered and they are believing in Him for Jadon’s healing.” Phillips has been receiving chemotherapy and daily radiation since March, and has been unable to walk or bathe himself, in addition to having a difficult time swallowing. 

Despite his battles, Phillips’ family, especially his father, Keith, his mother, Gore, and her husband, Ryan, “have been the backbone as they are working together to lift Jadon in and out of their SUV everyday for appointments and bathe him at night,” says the GoFundMe’s description. Phillips, who is known for being “persistent, strong-willed, loving and sensitive” by his family and friends, has not given up; and neither has the community surrounding him.

The GoFundMe page for Phillips itself has surpassed its goal of $75,000, reaching $86,500 as of May 16. “All donations will help the family with overall expenses, household bills, food, gas, tolls and supplies for Jadon’s care,” the page’s description states. “In addition, Jadon needs a handicapped accessible van and a ramp. The family is so appreciative for each of your acts of love during this difficult season.” 

In a YouTube video posted on May 5, Phillips thanked everyone for the outpouring of support towards the fundraiser site and his fight. “Thank you, everybody, for your love and support, we really appreciate it, it means so much,” he said. “We’re just going to keep going at it, working this thing up.”

Phillips’ mother, Gore, has been at his side “24 hours a day” as she told WPVI. “He’ll be back,” she said. “He’ll be out there. Our faith is strong.”

Rancocas Valley Regional High School principal Mr. Martin, among other educational administrators, have encouraged students to support Phillips and his family as he continues to battle with cancer. Students have spread awareness for Phillips’ cause across social media, and have contributed to the donations towards his fight.