Among the statistics, the information, the donations – these are the faces behind Childhood Cancer.
Early December (2011) after a fun filled swimming outing to a local pool Gaven threw up.
Over the next few days, he continued to throw up once, maybe twice a day.
A trip to the family doctor sent them to a specialist in Grimsby and then on to McMaster Children’s Hospital where doctors initially thought something was wrong with his intestines and sent him home with medicine and a warning to return if he threw up again.
The next day he did throw up and returned to McMaster Children’s Centre where a CT scan revealed a tumour on the back of his brain on his brain stem. He was immediately prepped for surgery to reduce the fluid/pressure on his brain.
The very next day neurosurgeons spent 5 hours removing the tumour from Gaven’s brain. It was extremely scary and a test of faith but the doctors were able to successfully remove the whole tumour.
A week later doctors confirmed what we were hoping wouldn’t be true, the tumour was cancerous.
The next week they revealed to us the details of the cancer, ATRT, an aggressive and rare form of brain cancer.
We wept, we cried, we were overcome with fear. But we are standing strong and committed to helping Gaven through this fight for his life.
Gaven’s treatment plan started with aggressive chemotherapy at McMaster Sick Kids Hospital in Hamilton. Three rounds, with each round of chemo lasting three days. This chemotherapy is the strongest dose they can give a child of his age. (completed)
Following the chemotherapy, when in remission (there must be no new tumours or spread of cancer for us to move forward to the stem cell treatment) Gaven will travel to Toronto Sick Kids Hospital for stem cell therapy/treatment.
He will be there for 3 months and receive another chemotherapy treatment, which will cause him to become neutropedic (blood coutns, levels all at 0 – essentially wipe them out) and then allow the doctors to put the new stem cells in. They will do this three times over three months. He will remain in strict isolation for 7-14 days following his stem cell transplants. (completed)
Following the stem cell transplant they will then do radiation. Gaven is currently undergoing IMRT radiation, 28 treatments which started July 10th 2012
You can follow Gaven’s story here.
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Donate here to St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
We do one thing and we do it well: fund childhood cancer research. We take great care of the funds raised by our generous volunteers and supporters to direct every possible dollar to carefully selected research grants. Whether it’s through our signature head-shaving events, partnerships or advocacy initiatives, our primary focus is to have the greatest impact for kids with cancer around the world.