Conor, a curly-haired two-year-old cutie has been a fighter since birth, having been born with congenital heart defects that were surgically repaired at just five days old. Just before he turned a year old, Conor and the Milligan’s went through a second ordeal when Conor had a "rare-oma" removed. His oncologists called it that because they almost never catch neuroblastoma at such an early stage. Conor dodged the bullet. While the experience was scary, in some ways, Marc and Tara felt like outsiders in support groups- imposters because their little boy had a single tumor that doctors were able to remove with a single resection operation and without any chemo. Even more comforting was that the family was told that a relapse was all but impossible. This past Saturday after a few weeks of odd symptoms, the Milligan’s took Conor to the ER where they got the news that no one ever wants to hear. A team of doctors stood in a periadtric oncology ward and told the Milligans that Conor had relapsed - stage four high risk neuroblastoma with two tumors in his head, and more tests to follow that will determine if there are more throughout his body.
While a myriad of symptoms nagged the family over the past month, resulting in several trips to doctors’ appointments and ultimately the emergency room, they all pale in comparison to the road ahead. Conor will undergo at least 6 rounds of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation and a stem-cell transplant. The best-case scenario looks like 6-7 months of treatment, and that's only if his body cooperates along the way. Many cases of children with similar diagnoses have dragged on for much longer.
I’m reaching out to ask for help in supporting Conor’s fight and to help Marc and Tara to cover their mounting medical bills. As you can imagine, procedures for Conor’s treatment are very expensive and even with insurance, it is extremely difficult to make ends meet.
From the Milligans:
“While this feels like a boulder dropped on our heads, it mostly feels surreal. None of the conversations and none of the consent forms for transplants and procedures feel real. We still have several important tests ahead that will complete the picture for us, but we know enough now to get started. While the road ahead is a scary one, we know that our sweet, stubborn little boy will give this fight everything he has.”
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