Here is Tate's Story written by Brad & Darcy:
As many of you know by now, our family was dealt a huge blow on Dec 13th and they need your prayers and support! In the past weeks, we had been noticing some unusual symptoms that Tate was displaying, which some of you may have noticed as well…some loss of balance and coordination, dizziness, seeing double, and just other things that weren’t quite right. We are so grateful for the wonderful people we have in our lives and Tate’s who are so involved and were able to share concerns that they were also having. After visits with our general physician and eye doctor, we had an MRI scheduled. We took Tate in this past Wednesday (12/12) for that to be done. During that time, they ordered that a contrast be done, which we knew was not good. After reading results and talking with our physician we were sent immediately to the ER at the University of Iowa.
While there, we were admitted to the Children’s Hospital. We met with neuro-ophthalmologists Thursday morning who we are able to do some extensive vision testing and address the vision issues Tate was having. They provided him with a prism for his left eye, which fits right onto the lens of his glasses. That is allowing him to no longer see doubles and he reports that his vision is way better than it had been! Thursday afternoon neurology team members talked with us and we met with the oncologist who we will be working with and who had reviewed all of his scans. This is the point where our entire world was rocked.
At that time, we were told that Tate had a tumor on his brain stem and was diagnosed with DIPG and his tumor is inoperable. No one can say how long it has been there or to what extent it is growing, but what we do know is that we are going to continue to look at treatment options and begin radiation treatment as soon as possible. As with any situation like this there are prognosis and guesses of what we are dealing with, but we continue to work with very talented and knowledgeable people who are going to help guide us in every step of this process.
Right now Tate only knows that he has a tumor in his brain and that the radiation he gets will work to shrink that tumor. At this time we are not sharing the statistics or potential outcome with him. Tate will tell you that he has a tumor but he is going to beat it – which he is!
These last week has been an absolute whirlwind for us as we have tried to take in the challenge before us. We know that people have heard about Tate from others by this point, but it was very important to us to make sure that we share personally with family and close support team right away. As we continue through this journey we will post updates on the caring bridge website (https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/tateschaefer) so that you are able to follow and support us. The prayers, well wishes, and offers of help in this short amount of time have already been beyond what we could have imagined!
We believe in the ultimate power of prayer and ask that you continue to keep Tate and our family in your prayers as we find our way through this time. As we move forward, we want to devote as much time as we can to both Teagan and Tate. Please know that we have a support team and family who might act as spokespeople for us and might be replying to you instead of us.
Brad, Darcy, Teagan & Tate
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