For those who wish to help lift us, in both prayer and support, here's how we entered our family's hardest test to date.
Rennick was seemingly a healthy little boy - he walked early; he met all of his developmental milestones to date; he was active, bright, and "all boy," always chasing fast as he could after his big brother to do everything as his brother does.
I never dreamed I'd thank the Lord for throwing our baby to the ground so that we would discover the very large, lemon-sized tumor growing in his head. And even though we went into an immediate state of fear and shock when the ER doctor came in with the CT scan results and told us that the indented skull fracture on the left side of Renn's head was the least of their concerns, I'm still strongly believing his fall was a blessing in disguise.
Renn was flown to Dallas Children's Medical Center (CMC) from Lubbock Monday night, 8.12.13. That week, Rennick underwent two +12-hour craniotomies which resulted in more than 90% resection of his tumor.
But that wasn't the end. This type of rare tumor that the neurologist believes Renn was born with and that he thinks has grown right along with him, though 100% curable, is only cured by surgical resection followed by immediate radiation. So 2.5 weeks later we were back at Dallas Children's Medical Center for a third craniotomy to remove the deepest part of the tumor.
That trip to Dallas was much shorter - Renn's surgery was on Friday, 9.13.13 and we were discharged the following Monday. Nearly a month later, we returned to CMC for a sedation MRI to confirm what we'd been praying for - the ever-critical complete and total surgical resection of this aggressive tumor.
10.10.13 we received that news! The foundation for Rennick's ultimate cure had been laid.
Soaring from that high we found ourselves plummeting to dark depths at the news that because Renn's target area - the borders where his tumor touched his brain - is so large, stereotactic (photon) radiation would be far too damaging...especially for someone his age (the myelin in the brain isn't fully developed until 3). Rennick would need a different form of radiation - proton therapy.
At the time we were looking, there were only 10 proton therapy centers in the nation and the closest to us was either Oklahoma City or Houston.
Our family had already committed to ensure that Renn gets the best treatment - we're all in the fight for his life together. So, not knowing exactly how we'll make it work we made the decision to head off to Houston with his older brother Paxton, 4, in tow for a potential eight-week stay.
We're not saying our story is more important than others. Our story is ours - we're an average family trying to make it work. We're always seeking fellow warriors in prayer, positivity, and thoughts to stand along side Rennick and us as we fight his battle and in helping our family to pass this test together.
Your support will help to pay costs associated with what we've gone through and what we're facing:
- Care Flight transport from Lubbock to Dallas
- 3 craniotomies
- multiple MRIs
- 15-day hospitalization
- 30+ days of proton therapy (radiation)
- expenses for 2-month stay in Hous
DonationsSee top donations
- James Hoggatt
- Jerome Aragon
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more