Our son Caleb was just like any other 3 year old. He loved playing outside, attending pre-school, and playing t-ball, soccer and bowling. But that all changed on August 30, 2018. What started off as a normal morning quickly turned into a day that changed our lives forever. In an instant Caleb went from playing with his brother and getting ready for school, to very quiet and dazed. At first we thought he was playing around because he didn’t want to get ready for school, but we quickly realized there was something very wrong. We called 911 and were taken to our local hospital where they did a CT scan and found a mass on his brain. They couldn’t tell us much, just that we needed to get to the specialists at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St Petersburg, FL. They determined he would have surgery the next day. They performed the surgery to remove the tumor and do a biopsy so we would know what it was. A little over a week went by, and then we got the news that he has AT/RT. Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor, or AT/RT for short, is a rare and fast growing tumor that affects the brain and central nervous system. Less than 10% of children with brain tumors have AT/RT. We were told survival rates are poor. We were devastated. How could our healthy boy go from normal life to this? So we thought about it and prayed about it, and the next morning we woke up and called St. Jude. We spoke with a doctor there that specializes in AT/RT, and although it’s so rare and hard to study, their clinical trials have shown improved survival rates because of their aggressive treatment plan. We felt like St. Jude was our best chance for Caleb’s survival so within 4 days we packed up and moved our family to Memphis, Tennessee to seek treatment at St. Jude. We have now been at St. Jude for 6 months. It's been be a long road of radiation and chemo treatments, but we will keep helping him fight this battle. He is our brave Superhero!!!
I’ve signed up for the St. Jude Walk Run to End Childhood Cancer, and I need you to help me reach my fundraising goal. Support me by making a donation or by joining my team.
Why I support St. Jude:
- Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for anything – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
- St. Jude has helped push the overall survival rate for childhood cancer from less than 20% when we first opened our doors to 80% today. St. Jude won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.