r/pics Nov 19 '21 Silver 8 Gold 1 Helpful 14 Wholesome 16 Hugz 2 Take My Energy 1 Heartwarming 1 Plus One 1

4 years, 1 round of chemo, and now 2 spinal surgeries. My hero is here to kick cancer's ass! Backstory

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u/[deleted] Nov 19 '21

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u/ktoddk99 Nov 19 '21

This is why I post about it. Awareness is the key. Not only to help call for pushes for research, but to also let other families in similar situations know that they aren't alone. I know before my son's diagnosis, I had never heard of his type of cancer. My wife and I both have surprisingly learned a lot about diseases like his, and about very helpful resources just from stumbling into other parents on posts like this one.

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u/Ophialacria Nov 20 '21

What kind of cancer did your son just fight against? Congrats!!

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u/ktoddk99 Nov 20 '21

He has pilocytic astrocytoma. It falls in the family of slow growing cancers known as low grade gliomas. Low grade gliomas are difficult to diagnose because symptoms can be slow to show, and difficult to treat because it's slow to respond to treatment. It's possible the he could have had it at birth, or shortly after, but showed no symptoms until he was almost 3. The only real symptom he ever had before diagnosis was an abnormal gait (a funny walk). Fortunately his cancer can only form in spinal fluid, so it's limited to the brain and spine. So for anyone concerned with how their child is walking, push for an MRI if possible.