Greyson Stephens Update - Molly’s Kids
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Ever accidentally misplace [read: lose] an email, then find it almost a year later? At a perfect time?
I deeply apologize to Kyle Stephens. His son is one of our amazing #MollysKids. Greyson Stephens is now 5-years old and lives in Hickory with his dad, mom Bekah, older sister Harper, and twin brother Hunter (Greyson is on the left). Clearly, this is a picture of the twins. We’ve been following Greyson’s journey with Ewing sarcoma for years. He was diagnosed with that cancer at only 6-months old, and, luckily, remains today in remission.
Kyle emailed on October 27th, 2020, on the three-year anniversary of Greyson being the youngest person to receive a hemi-glossectomy. (Fancy words to mean doctors rebuilt Grayson’s tongue.)
“Although September is over, and the focus on childhood cancer is somewhat diminished,” he wrote in this late 2020 email. “It’s important that people know the battle for families doesn’t stop. Pediatric cancer is something you fight together. You never forget it and everyone in the family is changed.”
Stumbling across Kyle’s old email last night, one day before September 1st and Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, was meant to be.
I called him today to apologize for never responding before, and to get an update on Greyson. He was really focused on making sure all of us knew the impact this month, and children with cancer, has on everyone.
“Pediatric cancer impacts a family in good and bad ways,” he said. “Siblings who aren’t sick are in some ways left to handle their own. When Harper was 7, I asked her if it was hard being Greyson’s sister. She said it was, and it wasn’t. That ‘Sometimes he gets a lot of attention, but that he’s also a special super hero.’ Goes to show how everyone, maybe especially the other kids, are watching.”
Kyle also said watching his son in the tongue-rebuild surgery was one of the scariest moments of his life.
“Seeing our child hooked up to every imaginable piece of equipment, worried about infection and it not working… not knowing if he’d be able to talk?” Kyle said. “All of those concerns were huge. Looking back, it’s hard to put into words what it feels like or how to relate those experiences to other people.”
The surgery, happy to report, has been very successful. In fact, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist recently did a great feature on Greyson that his family is proud to share. You can read it here >> https://bit.ly/GreysonStephens. “Greyson has come a long way since that tongue surgery now almost four years ago,” Kyle said over the phone today. “He also had to have brain surgery to correct a Chiari Malformation. As the doctors put it, he just drew two bad straws—the brain surgery was totally unrelated to the cancer. I believe he is destined for something great, that God hasn’t left him on this earth for nothing. I believe his future will hold something special. I can’t wait to see what it is.”
As for where things stand now, Greyson just started preschool. His parents enrolled him and Hunter a little late to give Greyson some time to recover from all his medical treatments. Kyle says Hunter helps Greyson everyday, and is right now working with his twin to teach numbers and letters.
But most of all, again, Kyle says their family is focused on helping other families go through their own pediatric cancer battles.
“We are grateful to work with the Hearts, Hands and Hope Foundation,” he said. “That local charity does lots of work to ensure entire families are helped. The networking and support they provide is awesome.”
(If you’ve never heard of Hearts and Hope, it’s a grass roots organization in memory and honor of another one of our amazing #MollysKids, Luke Sigmon. His mom started the whole thing. Great group. Worth looking up.)
Writing all this to say: September matters. I might not have a story every day for the next thirty days, but each story that is shared is important, and about a child in our backyard. Like Greyson. Please don’t let the month go by without acknowledging how many local kids and families go through this hell. Find a way to help, spread the word, or take some action… no matter how large or small.
Few more photos of Greyson and his siblings below in comments.
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