A married Florida couple and their teenage son are all battling different forms of cancer.
Five years ago, Kathy Desclefs, of Jacksonville, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that starts in the white bloods cells.
This August, her husband, Benoit, was told he has an inoperable brain tumor. And two months ago, their 17-year-old son, Luke, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, News 4 Jax.
The Desclefs are also running their French American restaurant they’ve owned and operated for 16 years and said they will likely have to sell it so they can focus on their respective treatments.
The Desclefs family, of Jacksonville, Florida, are battling three different forms of cancer. Pictured, left to right: Benoit, Luke and Kathy
Kathy (right), was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of white blood cell cancer, five years ago. Her son, Luke (right), 17, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in October
‘It was too much, especially when it came back down to Luke,’ Kathy told Action News Jax of all three being diagnosed. ‘It was just too much.’
The mother-of-four has been in and out of treatments since she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014.
Her son, Luke, a senior at Bishop Snyder High School, said he didn’t have any symptoms when he was diagnosed in October with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
‘I found a lump on my neck and I thought it was weird, and I told my mom,’ he told News 4 Jax.
Despite the similar sounding names, the two white blood cell cancers differ.
Hodgkin’s lymphoma involves the presence of an abnormal cell called a Reed-Sternberg cell, which is not involved in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Additionally, Hodgkin’s generally starts in the upper body, such as the neck, chest or armpits, while non-Hodgkin’s begins in lymph nodes throughout the body.
Hodgkin’s lymphoma is usually detected at early stage and therefore considered among the most treatable cancers while non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is usually diagnosed at a more advanced stage.
Benoit (pictured), a French chef who immigrated to the US, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in August
The family operates The Magnificat Cafe, which Benoit opened 16 years ago. Pictured: Kathy, left, and Benoit
In the midst of all of this, Benoit was diagnosed this summer with an inoperable brain tumor.
‘It’s hard – physically, emotionally – but the prayers help us continue on,’ he told Action News Jax.
The father-of-four is starting chemotherapy this month, and Luke is currently undergoing chemotherapy.
The three different cancers means three different prognoses for the family. Benoit has been given 12 years to live.
‘With Luke, he has a very good prognosis if he responds to treatment and we’ll know how well he responds next week when they do a…scan,’ Kathy told News 4 Jax.
‘For me, it’s hard to say because the variant I have is so rare, they don’t have a lot of data on that.’
The Desclefs have been struggling to balance treatment with running their French-American restaurant, The Magnificat Cafe.
The Desclefs say they’ve hired extra help and have put the restaurant up for sale due to their declining health. Pictured, left to right: Luke, Kathy and Benoit
The Desclefs hope whoever buys the restaurant keeps it that way and lets the family stay on to help run it. This month, Benoit is starting chemotherapy and Luke is already undergoing the treatment. Pictured: Benoit and Kathy, left, and Luke, right
Benoit opened the eatery, where he is the chef, 16 years ago and the whole family helps out.
The family says they have hired extra help so they can attend treatments and have put the restaurant up for sale.
They hope someone keeps it a restaurant and lets the family stay on to help run it.
An online fundraising page has been set up to help cover the cost of their medical bills. As of Thursday afternoon, nearly $22,000 has been raised out of a $157,269 goal.