At 8 years old, Isreal has had 3 brain surgeries to remove malignant tumors.
At just 13 months, Israel, affectionately known as Ike, was facing surgery after an ependymoma tumor was discovered on his brain. The tumor was removed and he was treated with radiation. His parents were told that the chance of recurrence was approximately 25%; every 4 months Ike would receive an MRI to confirm that the cancer had not returned. Unfortunately, Ike fell within the small percentage and two years later a second tumor, in the same location, was found. Just shy of his third birthday Ike again had brain surgery, the tumor was removed and this time he was treated with chemotherapy. He again would return every few months for an MRI.
Ike fought his way back to being a healthy active boy, with the help of his family. His curly hair returned along with a healthy appetite. He started kindergarten, ready for the social interaction and as well as the academics. Ike is whip smart and an easy-going loveable kid; students and teachers alike love being around him. He had plenty of energy to use and became active in T-ball, soccer, taekwondo, swimming and playing with neighbors on the playground. He continued to have an MRI every six months and came out with a clean bill of health for the next few years. At his regular MRI this past February, the results once again showed a tumor, this time in another location. Within a week, the surgery was performed, the tumor removed and pathology confirmed it was again an ependymoma.
Ike is funny, intelligent, active and doing his best to live the life of a typical boy his age. He loves to play outdoors with his friends, with Legos and with electronics (of course). He also loves everything Disney, especially Mickey Mouse. He returned to school the day after he came home from the hospital- excited to see friends, his teacher and get back to school work. However, as the radiation treatment has gone on for the past 6 1/2 weeks, it has taken its toll and on his energy, his appetite and eventually he again lost his hair.
As you can imagine, this has not only taken a toll on him, but his family as well. The strain on his older sister, who has watched her little brother so ill, over and over again. His dad who does his best to keep up his spirits by reminding him that he is a superhero. His mom who tries to allow her son to live life to the fullest, while living with the constant anxiety of wondering how much more this disease will steal from her child’s and family’s life.
I have been blessed to have been friends with Ike’s parents before marriage and children came along. They are amazing, hard working people who have managed to carry the financial burden of Ike’s surgeries and treatments. Ike’s mother’s career is demanding and she picks up other work opportunities to supplement the family's income and his father works nights allowing them to spend as much time with their children as possible. They do an excellent job of trying to keep life as normal and fun for their children as they can, but as you can imagine it is exhausting.
In an effort to relieve some of the burden from the family; I have set up The Fight for Ike: The Superhero! Go Fund Me account. Will you please join me in helping this wonderful little boy and his family?
Thank you in advance for your donations; every penny will help Ike keep fighting his battle against cancer! All funds will go directly into an account set up for the family.
- Virginia Anne Newton
- Michele Zugschwerdt
- Adam Landeen
- David & Debra Gehris
Organizer and beneficiary
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