KJ was a smart, loving, energetic, charming, beautiful 2 year old little boy. He was healthy above average in every doctor check up, so it was very obvious when he started having trouble walking and keeping his balance. At first we put it off as a normal 2 year old boy that plays and falls a lot, until he was falling more than he was walking. We scheduled a doctor visit and his doctor also noticed something concerning, but didnt know exactly what so he made an appointment to have a CT scan 2 days later. The next day KJ seemed to have gotten worse so we made the decision to take him to the Emergency Room at our local hospital. Within 30 minutes of us checking in they had him in a CT scan where they rushed in to yell We have to send your son to another hospital, he has a mass on his brain, and we can not handle this here! January 27, 2009, was the end to our family's normalcy. Within 48 hours KJ had a temporary VP shunt placed in his head to relieve CSF fluid that was building up due to the mass blocking the natural flow, and a scheduled brain surgery to remove the tumor.
After the craniotomy was completed we were informed that the surgeon was only able to remove 95% of the tumor since it was on his brain stem. With his tumor being Medulloblastoma anaplastic a very aggressive tumor, the Doctors wanted to treat it with aggressive chemotherapy. We had no idea what to expect, but KJ went through his 6 weeks of chemo like he was the same fun loving, no care in the world little boy. We were very optimistic when he went for his MRI scan. His very aggressive tumor was chemo resistant and had grown more.
KJ then went on numerous trials, chemotherapies, blood transfusions, surgeries, and 6 weeks of radiation by July 2009. He still would give us his charming smile through everything his small body was enduring. He had his last round of chemotherapy in June 2010, and he was the first child to receive this form. August 9, just 6 days after his 4th Birthday our Proud Fighter left us to be missed forever.
Loving, Compassionate, Resilient, Fighter...
These are just a few words that we use to describe KJ. Even with everything KJ had to endure in his short stay, he taught us more in four years than we would ever have learned in our entire lifetime. His perserverance and determination could bring even a grown man to his knees. He did so effortlessly and always showing his bright beautiful smile. We couldn't have prayed to God for a more heavenly creature for a son, grandson, great-grandson, nephew or cousin than KJ. His presence showed us that taking our daily activities in life for granted is such a tremendous waste. Whenever we feel like our life couldn't get worse, we can always remember KJ and what he went through with such grace. We thank God for sending us such a perfect Angel-if only for a short time. We cherished every second, minute and hour that we shared with our "Proud Fighter"...KJ. ~Mom & Dad