Landon W.
Birth Date: May 12, 2011 

Diagnosis: Astrocytoma

Theme: Team Sports

(Basketball, Soccer, Baseball
& Football) 

Due Date: October 1, 2020

Landon's Story

Landon was active and loved playing sports. In 2019 he began having frequent headaches. He was being treated by his pediatrician, but nothing seemed to be helping. In early 2020 I noticed Landon having balance issues. That progressed to staring off into space and seizure like activity.

In February he was seen by a neurologist who ordered an MRI. We were sent to see a neurosurgeon. The diagnosis was a Astrocytoma tumor in his right temporal lobe. My 8-year-old son had a brain tumor! The neurosurgeon's advice was to postpone surgery for 6 months in order to see if the tumor grew, and if so, how much. In my heart I just knew that wasn't what was best for Landon. 

My research led me to Dr. Frederick Boop, a world-renowned pediatric neurosugeon at Le Bonheur Childrens Hospital in Memphis. I sent Landon's MRI to him. Dr. Boop contacted me and said Landon needed to have surgery right away. We met with the doctor and additional tests were performed. A surgery date was set. But ... the insurance company denied the claim because the surgery was going to be performed out of state. I did an immediate appeal. Denied. Dr. Boop did a peer-to-peer appeal with the insurance company's doctor. Denied ... again! My son was being denied life-saving surgery because we crossed a state line. 

Dr. Boop took the initiative and contacted St. Jude Hospital. They agreed to have the surgery done there and cover all expenses. On March 18th, the surgery was successfully performed. Dr. Boop found the tumor had spread from the original spot in the right temporal lobe to the optic nerve and brain stem. He told us if we had waited the 6 months that had been recommended, the tumor would have been inoperable. 

One month after the first surgery, Landon was back in Memphis. He had developed a staph infection in the surgical area. The bone that had been replaced following the first surgery was removed and discarded. Inpatient IV antibiotics and 6 weeks of oral antibiotics at home, and things are looking up.

On June 22nd we will be back at St. Jude to start chemo. That had to be delayed due to the infection. Landon has a very long recovery ahead but I am so happy to report he is improving daily. He now has a chance to grow up and become the doctor he wants to be.  

"We would like to thank all the ladies that put time into making the special gift for Landon. It made him the happiest I have seen him in a long time. The quilt is so special and has so much meaning to him. It has all the sports Landon loved doing before he had surgery. This is a blanket that he will cherish for years to come. So thoughtful. I'm overwhelmed by your kindness."