September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 14, 2014 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors CURE Kid Will Wagner. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Will’s fundraising page.
On Saturday December 8, 2012, Will took the court for his first basketball game of the year. He played the majority of the game and, as always, had a blast doing it! “For the love of the game” defines Will!! His sister danced in the Statham Christmas parade later that afternoon and then that evening we took the “Christmas Card” picture that we would be sending out in a few short days… a normal busy Saturday as the holidays closed in. What was about to happen over the course of the next few days changed our lives.
Sunday December 9th. Will woke up with a headache and complaining of not “seeing” right. He took some Tylenol and seemed to feel fine. His headache came and went over the next two days. It never seemed that bad, something was just off. Wednesday evening (12-12-12) we took him to his pediatrician; his eyes were not functioning the way they should. The words “something is not right,” were said. Thank God for Dr. Aldridge, she caught a problem!!! After a cat scan at Athens Regional Medical, a “mass” was found. We had no idea what it was. She sent Will to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Scottish Rite in the middle of the night. By 9:00 am the morning of 12-13-12, he was in surgery to relieve pressure in his brain from a massive non-germinomatous germ cell tumor (NGGCT). We took him to the doctor the night of December 12th, 2012 thinking he had a migraine…. yes a migraine. Little did we know what he had been going through. He never once complained.
He started Chemo the day after Christmas!! Over the course of the next eight months, Will had: six rounds of Chemo (24 days), 40 plus days in the hospital, countless fevers, pneumonia, allergic reactions, hair loss, weight loss, several MRI’s and lumbar punctures, 30 days of radiation, countless vomiting, blood clots, shots, a pharmacy at home, pokes, prods, missed school, missed friends, missed his brother and sister, good times and bad times.
Will is still not in school but hoping to return later this fall. Through everything, not once has he ever complained or asked why. He simply just asked what he needed to do to make it go away. Chemo took the tumor from the size of golf ball down to the size of a pinky nail. The prayer is that radiation killed the rest of it off. He is a very special young man whose destiny is written with greatness.
This is truly a journey. In journeys you meet people and they help to shape who you become and who you hope to be. We have met and leaned on so many great selfless people along this path. Scottish Rite Aflac Wing and Aflac Clinic have truly become an extension of our family. Thank you all!!
Will has been the strong one. Whenever we as parents have wanted to “lose it,” he has kept it together, which made us keep it together. All he wants to do now is help kids who are struggling, even though he still has his own struggles.
Update: From September of 2013 until June of 2014, Will has been stable. He has had 3 MRI/LPs. No sign of Cancer!!!! He is cancer free at this point and is adjusting to getting life back to normal, with limitations. He is not allowed to play any sports that require a helmet, hard for a boy that loves football. So he stays busy helping his younger brother Zac on his Skills!! His next scan is September 2014.
God Bless You All!!!