KSON Going Gold for Liam

September 28, 2016

Liam's mom Tatiana shared his story with us:

No parent should ever have to hear the words "your child has cancer".  Unfortunately, on August 27, 2015 we did.  Our 6 month old baby boy Liam was healthy in my mind one moment and then intubated and laying on a bed in the PICU the next.  It really put life in perspective for us.  The little things we may daily think were big deals suddenly became ridiculous as my baby laid in the PICU.  I was numb for weeks after hearing those words and waiting to wake up from this nightmare.  To this day I still have anxiety and stress from the experience.  Luckily, Liam was so young he will never remember this treatment and it will only have scarred his father and me. 

Liam was diagnosed with stage 4s intermediate risk neuroblastoma.  I know this sounds weird but we were one of the lucky ones.  We had friends we made on this journey that were not as lucky, some wen through much more rigorous treatment and some did not make it.  Liam's primary tumor was located at the base of his skull in his neck and it was "inoperable".  The cancer had spread into his bone marrow and his liver.  I quickly learned that I would have to be the medical advocate for my child and literally read up on all the medical journals and studies on neuroblastoma in order to push for the best care for my son.  I had the time as I sat in a hospital room with him on and off for five months.  Liam had a six hour surgery to remove part of the tumor and a swollen lymph node and six rounds of low dose chemotherapy.  Liam had a total of three surgeries, six rounds of chemistry, blood and platelet transfusions, 11 hospital stays ranging from three days to 28 days, and countless scans.

Thankfully today Liam is cancer free!  He is a health 19 month old who has the chance to play with his three year old sister, go to the park, and be a kid.  He still needs to be put under anesthesia every three months to have 3-6 hours of scans done each time as well as blood tests to assure that the cancer does not come back.  He will be scanned for three years and then he will have yearly appointments having blood draws to make sure he is still healthy.  He will also have echograms possibly the rest of his life due to the chemotherapy he was given can effect his heart.  Liam also has to have hearing tests done the next few years in order to make sure the chemotherapy did not effect his hearing.  These are all little things in the large scheme of this cancer world.

Once you get thrown into this world you learn so much about it that you did not know.  I thought this was a rare thing that happens to children  but it is not.  1 in 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer.  Every year 263,000 children are diagnosed with cancer.  1 in 5 of those kids will not survive.  But sadly only 4% of the national cancer institute's budget goes towards pediatric cancer this is unacceptable.  Its time to spread awareness and contact your congressmen and senators and demand a change.  Thank you for taking the time to hear our story and spread awareness. 

Liam's mom Tatiana joined the show tell us about Liam and "winning the cancer lottery." Listen below: 

KSON Going Gold for Liam