At age 3, Brad was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma (a cancer of the sympathetic nervous system).
Bradley Charles Springer was just 3 and 1/2 when he was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer called Neuroblastoma in November of 2006. Bradley is now 4 and 1/2 years old. You have no idea how devastating the news was. Mom was 24; Dad 26 and they have another son who was 9 months old at the time Bradley was diagnosed. How could this be? Bradley had been treated for a year for what 2 family doctors called “normal childhood constipation” for about a year before a nurse practitioner decided to run urine and blood tests and knew something was really wrong. Bradley had a tumor the size of a tennis ball on top of one of his adrenal glands. The cancer had spread to his lymph nodes and bone marrow.
Life will never be the same for this family. Living with cancer is truly just one day at a time. Bradley had 5 rounds of chemotherapy before they could do surgery to remove the tumor and one of his adrenal glands. Then on to Salt Lake City for a double stem cell transplant and radiation. The stem cell transplant was very painful. Bradley and the family came home for a short time and then went off to Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York to obtain the latest cancer treatment called Immunotherapy (3F8). Baseline tests that were performed indicated that he was still not cancer free. They did additional chemotherapy and Bradley had a difficult 8 and 1/2 hour surgery where the surgeon looked at every organ in his abdomen, removed lymph nodes that looked bad and scraped anything that looked like it didn’t belong in there. His remaining adrenal gland was destroyed.
He will now take medication for this for the rest of his life. I think that people don’t really realize the impact on the extended family that childhood cancer has. I’m his “Nana” and I can’t fix this. I’ve listened to my son have to make life and death decisions for Bradley. It hasn’t been easy. Clark, his brother, has basically grown up in the hospital and Ronald McDonald house. Thankfully, my son was blessed with a great job and they have been wonderful and have let him telecommute. If it weren’t for telecommuting, they would have had no income. We have been blessed with friends and family that truly care. Bradley is truly a miracle child. Currently, Brad is heading into his fourth round of Immunotherapy and is doing well. He is gaining weight and his hair has started to come back. His energy is continuing to increase every day and so is his stamina and appetite. We need to band together and find out what is happening to our children. Kids should never have to battle cancer. God doesn’t make mistakes and we know that he has a plan for Bradley and Bradley has touched many hearts and gives us the strength and hope to find a cure for all childhood cancer!
Cathy – December, 2007