We would like to take a few minutes to share with you Creed’s story. Creed was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma just after his first birthday and courageously fought for his life through nearly a year of intense, difficult treatment. Unfortunately, the intensive treatment was unable to stop the spread of the cancer. Creed passed away on August 26, 2016, just one day before his second birthday. Yet Creed’s strength, his fighting spirit, and love of laughter live on: “Creed was the light of many of our lives. He inspired not only me, but so many others. He changed and impacted so many lives in just the short time he was given on this earth. After all, there is no footprint too small to leave an impact on this world that will last forever.”
The Diagnosis: Medulloblastoma
Medulloblastoma is a rapidly-growing tumor that develops in the cerebellum, the lower rear part of the brain responsible for critical functions such as balance and complex motor functions. Medulloblastoma is a sub-type of tumors known as PNETs, which develop in the immature cells of the central nervous system known as primitive neuroectodermal cells. Between 250 and 500 children in the United States are diagnosed with Medulloblastoma every year. Unfortunately, the disease is most aggressive in children, like Creed, who are diagnosed under the age of three.
Brain tumors in children are amongst the most difficult forms of cancer to treat due to their location in such a critical and highly sensitive area of the body. Standard treatment involves removing as much of the tumor as possible through surgery, then bombarding the cancer site with chemotherapy and radiation to kill any remaining cancer cells and prevent the formation and growth of new cancer cells. However, for the developing brain of the young child, the treatment can be nearly as devastating as the cancer itself with the potential for serious short- and long-term side effects. In fact, most oncologists will avoid or delay the use of radiation in children under the age of three because the risk of brain damage is so high. The options are gut-wrenching, and until more targeted, less toxic treatments can be developed, sadly limited.
The Gift of Laughter
Yet Creed faced the intense treatment—the many surgeries, the chemotherapy, and the pain—with smiles and laughter. “He could always manage to make everyone laugh no matter the circumstances.” And it is the memory of his handsome, smiling face and his infectious laughter that will carry his family through this very difficult time. “Creed is forever in our hearts. Until we meet again. Love and miss you, Creed baby.” Creed, and his family, are in our hearts as well. It is for them, and for all childhood cancer warriors, that we continue to dedicate ourselves to pushing for new, more effective, and less toxic treatments for all forms of childhood cancer.
About the American Childhood Cancer Organization
The American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) is a non-profit charity dedicated to helping kids with cancer and their families navigate the difficult journey from cancer diagnosis through survivorship. Internationally, the ACCO is the sole US member of Childhood Cancer International (CCI), the largest patient-support organization for childhood cancer in the world. Here in the United States, the ACCO promotes the critical importance of ensuring continued funding into new and better treatment protocols for childhood cancer. And most importantly, the ACCO is focused on the children: developing and providing educational tools for children fighting cancer and their families, empowering them in their understanding of childhood cancer and the medical decisions they must make during this difficult journey. All of ACCO’s resources are available free of charge for families coping with childhood cancer.
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