Please help Colin and his family offset some of their medical expenses for treatment of his reoccurring brain tumors known as Pilocytic Astrocytoma and accompanying Posterior Fossa Syndrome ❤️
I had the pleasure of getting to know Colin through coaching him in his first year playing organized basketball in the Gloucester Township Boys Basketball League during the 2018-2019 season. Despite his lack of experience, Colin quickly became one of the best players in the league, improving exponentially with each game. He would even go on to make the All-Star game and win the Sportsmanship Award in his very first season.
Here’s Colin in action at last year’s All-Star game:
That year was supposed to be my last year coaching, but I was so inspired by Colin’s growth as a player that I pledged to coach another season so that I could continue to guide Colin into becoming a player that had limitless potential. Unfortunately, Colin would not be able to play this season.
Here is a message from Colin’s Aunt:
“We (Lawlor/Swain Family) received the heartbreaking news that our Colin (Lawlor) was diagnosed with a brain tumor and hydrocephalus on July 13, 2019. By Monday July 15th, Colin was in surgery for roughly 11 hours to remove the tumor. Thankfully, the biopsy results showed that it was a benign Pilocytic Astrocytoma tumor (Stage 1 Cancer “non-malignant” (benign)) and it generally doesn’t spread.
This type of tumor is usually treatable, but can return from now through his 20’s. He has a another wrench in the situation as the mutation of the tumor is rare and there isn’t much known about it. Colin remained in the PICU for 2.5 weeks and then moved to theOncology/Neurology Unit for evaluation and monitoring. Moving forward he will be scanned every three months for the first year then every six months thereafter.
After a couple weeks in the Neurology/Oncology Unit, Colin was moved to the Seashore House at CHOP to begin a month of inpatient rehabilitation. Colin was fighting to learn to stand and walk again (although with constant hands-on assistance) and improving day by day, slowly, but at least improving. He had been on a rigorous schedule of 5-6 hours of therapy each day (OT/PT/Speech/School), and starting to get his balance back (with hands-on) along with an occasional smile. However, he suffered a significant setback on August 27th. Even during his time at the Seashore House and his daily therapy, he was dealing with extreme nausea, dizziness, sickness, etc., but was still trying to battle through in order to succeed……he’s a fighter!
Unfortunately, he was moved back to the Neuro/Onc as he was no longer keeping fluids or food down. It was determined that the inpatient rehab was too aggressive and his brain wasn’t healed enough yet to endure this type of treatment. Over Labor Day weekend, the team of doctors determined that Colin was critical and would need a central line in order to get him the fluids and nourishment he would need, since he could not consume them on his own and keep them down. Since entering the hospital in July he has lost more than 15%+ of his body weight.
On August 30th Colin had the picc line inserted into his arm. At the young age of 15, his spirits have been on such a roller coaster ride……..A ride no child should have to endure!!! When Colin was initially diagnosed and planned for surgery, we were told he would have a “full recovery”. However, come to find out that means he survived major brain surgeries, and not necessarily a true full recovery, getting 100% of our boy back.
Due to the surgery, he has Posterior Fossa Syndrome and it is unknown the recovery of that. So after hanging on to the full recovery comments, and Colin having only the truth, we are now adjusting to not really knowing what his long-term outcome will be. Mom (Kathi Swain Lawlor) did not leave his side since entering the hospital in mid-July, with Dad (John) and sister (Arianna) up there right by their side every chance possible. Colin was finally released on September 26th, spending 12 weeks in the hospital.
Since being home, he continues to receive out-patient physical/occupational therapy and is currently being home-schooled. Every day is a struggle. His fluid and food intake is still at the bare minimum, and needs to be tracked and monitored. He fights to keep things down, stay awake and maintain balance when walking. Unfortunately, after only a few short weeks home he received his first scan, and we were told on October 14th that his tumor has returned. The original plan was to scan every 3 months. However, with the October scan showing the new tumor, CHOP will be scanning him again on December 14th, as they do not want to wait the 3 months.
Even with this unknown still lurking, Colin continues to fight every day hoping he will be back to himself someday soon. An account has been setup to help ease the burden during this difficult time and throughout the remainder of “Colin’s Journey”. Hopefully this will give the family the ability to focus on Colin and his recovery and easing some of the financial burdens being incurred. Thanking everyone in advance, and please keep Colin in your prayers!“
Despite all of this, Colin is still attending each and every practice and game as my assistant coach. Even though he will not be able to play this year, he is helping the entire team with his brilliant insight and unwavering support. Colin and the rest of the Lawlor family are truly great people who always put others first. It is now, though, that they need our help. Medical bills, the cost of medication, and other expenses have piled up on the family and Colin’s father had to refuse reapplying for his job and relocating to Nebraska as they could not uproot Colin and take him away from the tremendous care he is receiving at CHOP in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Colin can still shoot!
With your donation, some of these burdens can be lightened for the Lawlor family. Your generosity will allow Mom and Dad to focus solely on Colin’s progress and recovery without having to worry about finances.
Thank you all so much for your time and please share this link wherever you can!
- Amy DeCaro
- Rob Troisi
- Gloucester Township Boys Basketball League