Local 14-year-old fights brain tumor for 9th year, leans on faith and perseverance

BARREN CO., Ky.-When Barren County teenager Jake Quenzer was five years old, his life changed forever. 

“The doctor said cat scan him and then she came in and said, ‘Rhonda, he has a brain tumor’,” said Jake’s mother Rhonda Quenzer. 

Jake had fallen off his bike. By chance, doctors ran an X-ray to check if there was any head injury. 

“They just happened to do an X-ray because a bunch of other people had come in with head injuries so the doctor that was there decided to scan all of us. And they found it,” said Jake. 

Jake was lucky he fell off his bike that day. 

“If we hadn’t found it when we did, with him not having symptoms, by the time we would’ve found it with symptoms, there wouldn’t have been anything we could do,” said Rhonda. 

He had a ganglioglioma brain tumor. Although it’s benign, they can’t get rid of it. It’s attached to his brain stem. 

“The surgeon can’t get that close to the brain stem otherwise it would cripple him or kill him,” said his father Collin Quenzer. 

Jake has had four brain surgeries and countless rounds of chemo. Through it all, he smiles, and leans on his faith. 

“God will help you through it,” said Jake. 

“He said momma it’s okay. No matter what happens it’s okay. If I have chemo and we get through it then it’s great. If not, then I get to be with God and my papaw so he said either way it’s okay,” said Jake. 

Jake is still basking in the excitement of his Make-A-Wish trip this summer…flying across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii. 

“I chose Hawaii because of Pearl Harbor and I really like history,” said Jake. 

“It was just time with family, making memories and having time with Jake and just forgetting everything else,” said Rhonda. 

He hopes to inspire others who battle cancer. 

“Keep pushing and keep going, you’re gonna make it through,” said Jake.

“He’s my hero,” said Rhonda.