To help bring even more awareness to childhood cancer, we at The Gold Hope Project decided to give a platform to all the childhood cancer heroes. Their story in their words.
Diagnosis and Prognosis – Anaplastic Astrocytoma/ DIPG
How did you discover they had cancer? While trying to take a picture of Tyler with Santa in December of 2014, I noticed he had a lazy eye. I made an appointment with an eye doctor who told me his vision was perfect and that there may be something else going on. He recommended I take Tyler to get an MRI. Within 2 hours they found the lesion on his brain stem.
What was your perception of childhood cancer before your child’s diagnosis? I thought that most cancers had some type of cure. I thought radiation and chemotherapy was a cure. I had never knew of a child that suffered a childhood cancer.
What kinds of treatments and procedures has your child been through? Are there any struggles your family faces because of treatment? Radiation and chemotherapy.
What did you learn about childhood cancer after your child was diagnosed? Was there anything that shocked you about the disease? When we received Tyler’s diagnosis, we were told the best thing to to was to enjoy our son. His prognosis was (fatal and he had) 9-12 months. Here I had a healthy son running around, other than a lazy eye, and now my son was going to die. I was shocked by the lack of treatment options available for kids. You would hear about the different clinical trials and many available to adults or kids over twelve.
If there was one thing you wish people could do to help a family with a child battling cancer, what would that be? I had a great support system, but everyone being around helped as a great distraction to our new life. Whether it was in the hospital or stopping by my house, it made my son and family seem important and made me feel like I had a support system to fight with me in my corner.
What do you think about The Gold Hope Project’s mission to bring awareness to childhood cancer through photography? I believe that any awareness to childhood cancer is needed. We need to get any information out to the public about the number 1 killer of our children age 1-12. Sometimes when seeing a picture of what that child and their family are struggling with will make the situation hit home or become more pertinent.
Thank you Kristen for sharing more about Tyler’s journey!