When you talk to people about cancer, they often ask about if doctors are able to “get it all” or if you are “in remission”. These are phrases that give people hope and help them to feel better about the horrible story of cancer.
Today, we want to introduce you to a childhood cancer survivor. We met Timothy at just the right time in our journey. Tillery had been through her share of hiccups and we met Timothy and his mamas in the kitchen at the Ronald McDonald House while his younger sister was a patient at Cincinnati Children’s. He was the best big brother Khloe could have had because he knew far too much about hospital life. Tillery was separated from her brother, Luke, and Timothy was separated from Khloe so the two of them adopted each other as siblings and quickly formed a bond. Tillery was in a helmet when we met Timothy and he still affectionately refers to her as “Baby Hat”.
Timothy was diagnosed as a baby with a stage three, 5 cm, hepatoblastoma tumor in his liver. It was mean and aggressive and it was quickly determined that tumor was going to fight with all it had. But that tumor had obviously never met Timothy! Timothy’s body was flooded with poison and drugs to kill that evil mass and the treatments were successful and Timothy’s parents were able to take their sweet boy home with them. He fought and he won!
Today, Timothy is 5 years in remission, a phrase so many long to hear. That said, to save his life came at a heavy cost. Read the below “short list” from Timothy’s Mommy of issues, medications, and therapies that remain as a lasting reminder of Timothy’s cancer battle.
Issues Timothy has as a result of cancer and cancer treatment: low bone density, permanent GJ feeding tube, repeated revaccination, enema dependence, loss of the function of his entire GI system, permanent hearing loss and hearing aids, and separation anxiety. Meds: liquids through feeding tube 5 times daily and at least 2 breathing treatments daily totaling 30+ doses of medication daily. Therapies: OT weekly for years, PT weekly until last summer, Speech therapy every other week with daily home practice for 20-30 minutes.
THIS IS A CHILDHOOD CANCER SUCCESS STORY!
Don’t we owe our kids a better success story? After they fight for their lives, they shouldn’t have to face these harsh, lasting side effects. They deserve #morethan4 to find ways to cure their cancer without so much damage to their bodies.
All that said, Timothy’s Mommy has this wonderful perspective: “For what it's worth, all that crud above also seems to have the side effect of creating the most empathetic, kind, sensitive little boy I could imagine. With a heavy side of wild, mess making, everyday kid thrown into the mix.”
We love Timothy and we are so thankful he fought so hard 5 years ago so that we can have his friendship now.
(Side note: Timothy’s little sister, Khloe passed away in the Spring. Aside from all that he has experienced in his own story, he also walked alongside his sister on her own battle with illness. Khloe was an amazing girl and we are so thankful to have known both her and Timothy. To see the two of them together was to see pure joy. These two amazing kids have been supported by amazing and loving mamas who have fought just as hard as their children. It’s been a long road for them all
Donate to Alex’s Lemonade Stand to fund research to find less harsh side effects for these kids https://www.alexslemonade.org/mypage/1261673