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Gold Ribbon Hero: Ben C.

Meet Ben, a 9-year-old astrocytoma warrior!

At 15 months, Ben started to have seizures which prompted doctors to take a closer look. When he was just 16 months old, Ben had surgery to remove 75% of the tumor from his temporal lobe. “It felt surreal, like a bad nightmare we couldn’t wake up from. There really are no words to describe the pain – just like you don’t know love until your child is born; same with pain. You don’t know pain until your child has cancer” remembers Stephanie, Ben’s mother. 

When Ben was five years old, his cancer began growing again and diffused with his brain stem. He underwent another surgery that was meant to relieve the pressure and during the procedure, he had a stroke leaving him with right side paralysis and partial blindness. Doctors were able to remove 90% of the tumor but the cystic component of the tumor continued to grow which meant that Ben needed to start chemotherapy. 

Ben currently attends five different therapies a week including chiropractic appointments and acupuncture to help with side effects. He’s had to retrain his brain to remember he has a right side and how to use it. Ben still cannot move his write or wiggle his fingers which prevents him from doing normal kid things like playing at a park or climbing trees. 

ACCO spoke to Stephanie, Ben’s mother, in late April and gave the latest update on Ben: “Ben’s last scan showed almost no tumor and we have moved to scans every 6 months. This is a huge victory with brain cancer. He’s not been on chemo for 1 year.” 

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