JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville family is heading into the holiday season with three members fighting three different kinds of cancer.
The Desclefs family owns and operates a French-American restaurant called the Magnificat Cafe across from Hemming Plaza in downtown Jacksonville.
French Chef Benoit Desclefs moved to Jacksonville from France decades ago in hopes of living the American dream. He is now living in a nightmare and with a horrible coincidence: He, his wife, Kathy, and their 17-year-old son, Luke, all have cancer.
“Oh, it’s hard to process,” Kathy Desclefs said.
Five years ago, Kathy was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In August, Benoit Desclefs was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.
Just two months later, Luke Desclefs, a senior at Bishop Snyder High School, was diagnosed in October with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He said he didn’t have any symptoms.
“I found a lump on my neck and I thought it was weird, and I told my mom," he said.
Kathy Desclefs talked about their prognoses.
“With Benoit, they’ve said roughly 12 years. 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 PET scan (positron emission tomography),” Kathy Desclefs said. "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.”
Even with all three battling cancer, they continue to keep the family business cooking.
Kathy Desclefs said they are relying on their faith.
“We are set up for God to show up because it’s so over the top," she said.
All the family is asking for is prayers and your patronage.
“We’re known for our quiche and we’re known for our soup," Kathy Desclefs shared.
Due to their failing health, the members of the Desclefs family have had to hire extra help and also put their restaurant up for sale. Since the business was their dream, they’re hoping to sell it but stay involved in the day-to-day operations in some way.
An online support page has been set up to help them financially.