My friend's son (who is also a former student--I taught him for four years), was diagnosed with a pontine brainstem glioma on Monday. He is 15. He probably has less than a year to live. He will have to have daily radiation treatments in an attempt to slow down the tumor's growth enough that he can enjoy a bit more of life. There may be brain surgery to relieve some of the pressure in his brain. This is a very rare, and very deadly disease. My heart is breaking for him and his family. I've never had a student die young. I taught him science last year as an 8th grader in a very small, very tightly-knit school, and the students are all like family. His mother is the school secretary. A lot of the kids don't know about this yet--I don't know how I am going to help them through their grieving process while going through my own. I'm so sad. I keep reading about other kids' stories and how quickly the tumor kills them. I keep thinking about how lucky I am that my daughter is healthy and her body functions normally. I feel like I should be DOING something, but I have no idea what. So I'll just babble here a bit.
15 year old with incurable brain cancer
Oh my goodness, that is so sad. I will keep him and his family in my thoughts and prayers.
As far as doing something, maybe a benefit for him? I have known several friends with cancer and they had a plate lunch benefit, where everything was donated, people volunteered and all the profits went to help the medical costs. That would be nice.
You're right--they are going to need a lot of financial support. They do have decent insurance, but that only goes so far for something like this, and it certainly doesn't cover things like gas for the daily 2-hour round trip drives to the hospital. Ronald McDonald House just got them snow tires, which they needed desperately. There will be people cooking for them. They have a HUGE support network, which is a comfort.
(I'm an Amy, too.) We lost my beautiful nephew to a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma several years ago. It's a horrible, horrible cancer. I'm so sorry about your friend's son. Have they looked into the Burzynski clinic in Texas? My nephew received treatment through there and we believe it bought him some good time.
I'm so very, very sorry. Such very difficult news. We have brain cancer dx in our family this week - my 27-yr-old cousin has an astrocytic glioma in her frontal lobe. Not as desperate as your student, but we're looking at about 18 months here. I am going to suggest what others are suggesting to me - be there for the family as much as you can. Even having someone to talk with is a help, especially if others withdraw at this difficult time.
I am so sorry to hear about this young man. We too have been surrounded by cancer especially brain cancer.My brother was just diagnosed with a GLIOBLASTOMAS and so have several other people that are friends of my brother and our family. One is a 9 y/o girl.
I agree with the other posters about staying present with him and his family. There is lots of great research going on right now and even if the prognosis is not good, he will need lots of love and support through all this. Hugs to you, this young man and his family.