Gideon hides it well with his infectious smile, but for over two years, he fought bravely for his life.
It started when he was a mere 6-year-old toddler. Gideon had no appetite and was unable to have a peaceful night’s rest. He was also growing moodier than usual. Things took a jarring turn for the worst when a yellow bruise appeared over his eye, followed by both eyes, and a lump on his head.
After a visit to the emergency room, Gideon’s parents received the terrifying diagnosis of stage 4 neuroblastoma. This rare form of cancer develops from immature nerve cells in tissue that begins in the adrenal glands and quickly spreads. To learn more about neuroblastoma, click here.
After tests at St. Jude’s, scans uncovered how serious the disease really was. His face, skull and bones were full of cancer cells, and he had a tumor in the middle of his body. Parents Katie and Gary were stunned, but the miracle workers at St. Jude’s were already doing what they did best.
They put Gideon on a new clinical trial that utilizes an experimental approach to immunotherapy by combining an antibody with chemo during all stages of treatment. The initial test results were showing surprisingly positive results. In a matter of six weeks, Gideon was already seeing a massive change in his health for the better.
His marrow went from 84 percent tumor to absolutely zero. Most of the tumors shrank, but the main ones on his face, arms and legs, completely vanished. The next step was a bone marrow transplant and radiation. No cell could be left alive.
After 15 months of hard treatment, Gideon was finally declared officially healthy.
“You yearn for the day when you’re not toting around an entire IV tree behind your kid. And then it happens, and you just kind of sit there like, ‘Wow. We made it,’” Gary said in an interview with Today.
Gideon overcame the cancer and is now a cancer-free little boy, ready to tackle life. His parents are ready to tackle life with him.