We are running for Drew! We will be running in a Mudderella to raise money for Drew Clarke's family. The Mudderella is a 5-7 mile race with approximately 10 obstacles. Your donation will make a huge difference for the Clarke family. 100% of the funds raised will go to them. Any donation amount is appreciated. Thank you for supporting Drew and his family!!
Jade McGuirk, Carmen Keehbauch, Emily Pastonik and I, Autume Griffus are running on Drew's behalf. If you are interested in running please contact me. Thank you!
The Clarke family lives in Shepherd Michigan, just south of Mt. Pleasant.
Below is Drew's story:
Drew had a pretty typical summertime injury after falling on his grandparents dock in August 2013, but what followed was a parent's worst nightmare. A routine CT scan also revealed an "unknown" mass in Drew's abdomen, and he was transferred via ambulance to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI.
After a 3 day stay in the hospital, countless blood draws and tests, a bone marrow aspirate and an MIBG scan, doctors had the tumor narrowed down to 3 probable types, but wouldn't know for sure until they could biopsy it. On August 30th, Drew underwent a 6 hour surgery to remove the tumor. About 4 hours into the surgery, the pediatric neurosurgeon informed us that they stopped the surgery. They encountered a 4th type of tumor that they were not expecting (because it's so rare) -- and it could not be removed without doing significant, permanent damage to Drew. The tumor was located in the left psoas muscle, and had grown into his sacral nerve (which controls hip flexor, walking movement and bladder function), and was intertwined into 3 lower vertebrae in his spine. Removing the tumor could have caused permanent paralysis. Instead, the doctors took samples for biopsy.
We received Drew's diagnosis of Stage 3 Ganglioneuroblastoma Intermixed, a rare childhood cancer, on September 11th, 2013. This tumor is a mix of benign and malignant cells, and grows along nerves within the body. The pathologist estimated that the tumor was 95-97% non cancerous and 3-5% cancerous - which is good and bad. Because chemotherapy will only "attack" cancerous cells - the only other way to get rid of the tumor is to remove it surgically - which, in Drew's case, cannot be done.
Drew completed 4 rounds of chemotherapy, and the MIBG scan indicated that the tumor had not shrunk at all. Our doctors changed chemotherapy regimens mid-cycle, and Drew is now undergoing a more intense, 8 round cycle, 5 days a week every 21 days. His next scan should be at the end of March, and we hope and pray that it shows the tumor shrunk, and the cancer GONE!
Drew is a happy, smart, yet silly child who is a fishing FANATIC. Where there is water "“ you'll find Drew with his fishing pole! The apple doesn't fall far from the tree - he does some bass tournament fishing with his Dad, and loves to catch bluegill, perch and crappie off his grandparent's dock. He knows countless fish species, baits and fishing techniques. He's our little fisherman, and we love him more than life itself!
Thank you for supporting us!
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