On October 4, 2007, Ty Louis Campbell came into this world, and our lives changed forever -- just like that. We never knew love like that before. Then, on August 11, 2010, our lives changed forever again. A mass was found at the base of his skull and Ty was later diagnosed with an extra renal rhabdoid tumor; a very rare and aggressive cancer at the base of his skull.
Since he was born, our baby boy had terrible sleep habits. Never in his life has he slept through the night soundly, but over the summer of 2010 we noticed his ability to sleep had gotten worse and he appeared to be suffering from headaches. Everyone said we were crazy to subject him to an MRI just because he's a bad sleeper, but after several tough nights in a row we decided to take him into the emergency room and get some imaging done. The neurology team at Cohen's Children's Hospital told us it is highly unlikely that anything is going to turn up. He had extensive bloodwork done, he passed three neurological exams, he was a perfectly healthy active kid. We thought we would just walk out of the hospital looking like silly, worried parents, but at least we would have peace of mind. The first thing the neurologist said when she came back with the report was... "this is extremely rare and we certainly didn't expect this...."
After the tumor was discovered, we were sent home to research neurosurgeons and spend time with our boy before surgery. We were told we should schedule surgery in the next 4 to 6 weeks. Unfortunately, just two days after we got home, Ty's speech began to slur, he began to lose motility in his tongue, and chewing/swallowing his food became an issue. We rushed to surgery, which was deemed a success but resulted in a very serious case of meningitis. Due to the severity of his infection, chemotherapy was delayed almost 7 weeks. We decided to get treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and we remain admitted on the pediatric floor to this day. We are still in the early stages of this battle, but we are confident that our little fighter will pull through. How can he not with support from so many people who care. Together, we can beat cancer and strive for a cure.
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