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Gold Ribbon Hero Knox G

“Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: Knox is one amazing little fighter. I remember the day we got the news… almost one year ago. We were traveling to Phoenix, AZ last October for vacation. The first night there he started looking sick. He couldn’t keep anything down. We took him to minor emergency and they sent us home with orders to rehydrate because he showed typical signs of dehydration. The next day we went to the emergency room because there was no improvement. The doctor admitted him after pleading with him and it was in the unit that the doctor on staff noticed neurological issues. They thought for sure it was viral encephalitis and we were prepared for an MRI and an LP then shunt placement. When the MRI team returned with my son and the news that they no longer needed the LP, I knew. There was a mass in the brain. I happen to be a nurse… a pediatric oncology nurse as irony would have it. Were there symptoms I should have seen earlier? Was it something I overlooked. I – of all people – should have seen this. I definitely didn’t. I hit me like a freight train. I will never forget that day. Knox had a craniotomy to remove as much of the tumor as they could. After surgery he suffered an ‘ischemic attack’ as they called it. He has since been slightly weaker on his right side and has no peripheral vision. His tumor was situated right on top of his optic nerve, up against his hypothalamus. It took about a month Phoenix before we were allowed to return home. They were stumped by his tumor. They said it looked like a grade 1 Astrocytoma, but the rate in which the cancer cells replicated was similar to that of a high-grade. So after 2 second opinions, Knox was diagnosed as a grade 3 Anaplastic Astrocytoma. We began Proton Radiation in December – even though he was only 3-years-old at the time, the doctors felt the need outweighed the longterm risks to his brain. He now suffers from Hypothyroidism, Adrenal Insufficiency, overeating issues, attention issues and learning disabilities. If you met Knox on the street, you would never know of the battle he fights daily. This kid is so personable and friendly. He makes friends everywhere he goes and his story is such an inspiration to all. He truly is amazing. This ‘situation’ has put all of our lives into perspective. It has made me pause and reevaluate what is important to me, to not take things for granted… and the number of days I get to spend with this little boy will not be wasted.” – Kristen G

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