Shawn's fight against brain cancer

History: September 2013
My name is Kim Williams Benson and this is the 5th grade picture of my youngest son Shawn.  Despite how he looked, he was very sick. Every morning he had been getting sick.  We noticed that he was starting to get tired very easily, and often had headaches. 
Deep down I knew something was wrong. Three days later, a cat scan showed a peach sized tumor in his brain. We were immediately sent to Texas Children's Hospital and less than two days later, he underwent  nine hours of brain surgery. Without any major complications, he walked out of there eight days later. He is the youngest of five children and one tough (but sweet) kid!
With a diagnosis of Medullablastoma, Shawn went through the standard care: six weeks of proton radiation therapy and then four months of high-dose chemotherapy (which required his own stem cells to be transplanted back into him). Genetic testing gave a promising picture.  After completing all of his treatments in May 2014, we walked out of there feeling he was beating this cancer!
November 2014: an MRI revealed a small  spot in the middle of Shawn's brain. A month later it was unchanged. Two months later, it had grown and there was a new spot.  In March, he began twelve rounds of outpatient chemo. Two months later, one spot was gone and the other had shrunk. The remaining spot stayed there for the rest of the treatments. Chemo was finished in March 2016. Shawn had gained weight, felt good, and was excited about finally going back to school next August. 
May 2016: an MRI this week revealed several new spots in Shawn's brain. We are now faced with the reality of more chemo, possibly experimental drugs, a clinical trial, etc. 
Being a teacher, it is great that  I can spend the whole summer with Shawn. We plan on using any money we recieve to pay medical bills, help with travel expenses, and to possibly seek alternate treatment if needed, ...whatever it takes to get him through this!
It has been over two and a half years since  we began this journey with Shawn. We are so grateful for all the  love, prayers, and support everyone has given our family!  


Kim Williams Benson
Tomball, TX

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