|Kenneth & Biebs at LegoLand|
Let me tell you a story about a boy we've all grown closer to and love so much and have prayed so fiercely for. His name is Kenneth, but we call him our Soldier Boy.
Memorial Day 2008, I met 2 very special woman that have greatly impacted my life since then. I met Chiquita (but since this isn't a clown post, we'll call her Sister) and Anna, Kenneth's mom. I instantly felt a connection with both of them. We had an interesting adventure on the lake that day, but it was filled with great conversation. Looking back on it, that day changed my life.
Fast forward to that fall. Kenneth was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a highly malignant type of brain tumor. Actually, he had 3 tumors. They were able to operate and remove one and went through a year of vigorous treatment. He went in on his 9th birthday, Dec. 7, 2009 for a scheduled MRI and low and behold, God gave him and us the best birthday present EVER!!! The other tumors were GONE!!!
While he was sick, Sister and friends put together several fundraising events; such as a golf tournament and a one-pitch softball tournament to help raise money for Kenneth and his family. Once the cancer was gone, we decided to continue on in the name of "Team Soldier Boy" and have another one-pitch tournament to benefit another child suffering from this terrible disease. We picked Faith Cline. She was a senior in high school and was part of the ROTC program and it was a perfect match. Unfortunately, Faith succumbed to her illness before the tournament took place...but all of the money we raised went to her family to help with her medical/funeral expenses.
For 13 months, Kenneth lived a semi-normal cancer-free life. The chemo really took a toll on his body. It affected his pituitary gland, his hormones, his height and sight....but he was cancer-free. He returned to regular school. He played baseball. He got to be a "normal" little boy....that had to go in for MRI scans every 6-10 weeks for the rest of his life.
|Beelay, Anna, SLou & Kenneth|
They put him in a 12 month case study and began treatments right away. Spending one week a month away from home, staying at the Ronald McDonald House, so he would be close to the hospital during his treatments. In Jan 2012, his scans weren't really showing any changes. The spots weren't going away, but they weren't growing either....but there was also a "cloud" they wanted to keep a close eye on. So the clinical trial went on and Kenneth continued his treatments until the beginning of March. After the conclusion of the trial, he was scheduled to go on maintenance drugs...and basically it was just a game of "Wait & See".
Unfortunately, they didn't have to wait very long to see. In 3 weeks the "cloud" was no longer a cloud, but a solid mass. They've gotten him into another clinical study. Kenneth had another MRI on Monday. This time, not only has the mass grown, but there are also 7 more seed size tumors where the original tumors were in his first battle. This is BAD news!!! This is heart wrenching, knee buckling, tear jerking BAD NEWS!!!
|Kenneth with Justin Timberlake!!|
I can't even begin to imagine how it must feel to be Anna, Kenneth or Little A. The decisions and emotions they're all having to face. All I know is how I feel and I'm sure their pain is 1000 times worse than my own. So tonight when you're fighting with your kids to do their homework or nagging them to get in the shower or when you're tucking them in tonight....just say a little prayer for Kenneth and thank God for your healthy kids.