CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Floor of a hospital never looked so inviting.
Ethen Baucom is 18 months old and stinking adorable. He's the youngest of three children. He, sister Mikayla, 3, and brother Hudson, 6, live in north Charlotte with their parents. Few months ago in March, Ethen's dad noticed an abnormal swelling in his upper abdomen and took him to the ER. An ultrasound revealed a large mass in his abdomen; a scan the next day showed it was so big it was traveling up past his diaphragm into his chest cavity.
Within a week, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma.
At the time, he was 13 months old.
If you saw our live Facebook tour of Levine's Oncology Clinic on September 1st, you met Dr. Oesterheld. It is Dr. O who has helped Ethen go through 5 rounds of chemo, 7 hospitalizations, and a major tumor resection surgery.
This picture from his hospital room is after a stem cell transplant.
"He is strong, silly, sweet, and a charmer to all he meets," mom Christie says. "Stage 4 Neuroblastoma is a tricky cancer, and although Ethen's cancer has responded well to chemo, we know the chances of relapse are high so we are continuing to fight however we can with hopes that he can grow up alongside his brother and sister."
The thought of being a parent forced to live with those thoughts… no matter how many stories we tell, quotes like that will never cease having impact.
"We have wrestled in the past months over what can really be done to move people's hearts to see the need for support and funds in the fight against pediatric cancer," Christie said. "We think these stories everyday this month help others understand the world families like ours are living in."
Childhood cancer is not rare. Hopefully this month continues to be proof. Maybe you've read the posts and cried, maybe laughed, maybe rejoiced. The trick is to remember.
Tomorrow's post – Day 18 – is an easy and fun way to help fight neuroblastoma, and help kids like Ethen.