22 September 2010
Nicholas was Diagnosed at the age of 8 months old with a rare brain tumor called Anaplastic Ependymoma Grade 3.
Ependymomas represent approximately six percent of brain tumors in children. The majority of patients are diagnosed before the age of five years. It is extremely rare in children under the age of 3. Approximately 120 cases are reported in the United States a year.
Our Neurosurgeon Dr. Holly Gilmer-Hill completed his surgery that took roughly 6 hours total, and he had a GTR, which means a Gross Total Resection. It mainly means the entire tumor was successfully removed.
Unfortunately, it isn't as easy as just removing the cancer. Microscopically, there is no way of telling what may have been left. Due to his age we had no choice but to buy time to allow his brain to develop to 1 year of age. Buying time was doing chemo. It wasn't our first choice but statistically, children treated with both chemo and radiation have an increase in survival.
Baby Nicholas is now in treatment that will last a year total to combat this disease from reoccurring.