In September of 2019, Bryson, 8 years old at the time, started having constant headaches. After visiting our PCP, a head CT was ordered and the results were normal. He was diagnosed with a concussion and for the next 2 months, we continued to regularly follow-up with the doctor. He was restricted to half days at school. He was unable to participate in a sport he loves and enjoys so much. Bryson had some days of relief but mostly always had a headache. In the beginning of November 2019, he woke up vomiting and the next day complained about double vision. We scheduled an appointment with the doctor again and requested an MRI be ordered. He was getting worse, not better. At 10 pm on Nov 8th, I received the phone call that would change our lives forever. The doctor said the words, “Bryson’s scan shows a mass on his brain!” We were devastated. The doctor gave us instructions to take Bryson to Penn State Children’s Hospital in Hershey that evening. We sat in the ER for most of the next day, speaking to specialists and waiting on lab results. They decided to admit him and order a repeat MRI for clearer images. That next day, they confirmed our worst fears. Bryson was diagnosed with a rare non-germinomatous germ cell tumor. It was next to his pituitary gland in his brain, pressing on his eye nerves. His left eyelid had began to shut as he quickly lost the use of the nerves being compressed. HIs eye itself, became lazy. It all seemed like the worst kind of nightmare. Within the next few days, Bryson has a port placed to receive his chemo and to draw his lab work from. He was given his first chemotherapy just 3 days after being diagnosed. Bryson‘s chemo treatment would last for 18 weeks with 6 cycles of inpatient chemotherapy at Hershey. Following his chemo, his treatment then required 6 weeks of radiation. This type of germ cell tumor only spreads between the brain and spine. Bryson had markers indicating his cancer would spread to his spine, if left untreated. It was suggested the best form of radiation was proton beam radiation. The closest center was in Philadelphia, Pa. While at CHOP, Bryson had his whole brain and spine radiated. He also had targeted treatment where the tumor was.
We returned home in May and the next checkup at hershey was the happiest day. When we got to hear the words, “Bryson is Cancer Free!!”
These months were long and difficult. But through this journey, we watched our son, with a warriors heart, fight the biggest battle of his young life! His determination was infectious and he gave us the strength to fight! We thought as parents, it would be the other way around but these brave children are true hero’s to the lives they touch! I can speak as a mother and I believe for my family, when I say this journey has changed our outlook on life and how precious each day is.
Today, Bryson is CANCER FREE. The doctors and nurses at Hershey and Philadelphia saved his life. God saved his life! Our community rallied and gathered by our side and Four Diamonds stepped in and made sure we didn’t have to worry about the cost of medical bills so we could focus completely on Bryson. Their research is the reason we have our son here with us today! Please consider making a donation
We feel so blessed for Bryson’s victory! We feel a calling to give back and raise awareness. No child should have to fight these battles, but with our donations, research can be done so those children have a fighting chance to win!
...And we are taking a stand by fundraising in honor of Bryson, for Four Diamonds. Please join us to Battle for a Cure!
In the U.S., more children die from cancer than any other disease, with 16,000 kids diagnosed every year. The donations we raise will support some of the latest breakthroughs in childhood cancer research. Having a better understanding of how cancer works will help Four Diamonds’ researchers develop new, more effective treatments to test through clinical trials and save more lives.
Your support also ensures that every Four Diamonds child, regardless of income, receives the highest quality of childhood cancer care without ever seeing a bill for that care. But Four Diamonds needs your help to conquer childhood cancer. Please support my efforts to save more kids like Bryson fighting cancer by making a donation today.