Wyatt was born at 36 weeks after an uncomplicated pregnancy. At two weeks old he contracted RSV and seemed to have a myriad of respiratory issues thereafter. At 2 months he was diagnosed with torticollis (stiff muscles in his neck causing lack of range of motion). He began physical therapy. It became clear that he was very stiff throughout his whole body. This led us to a neurologist. They thought he could possibly have cerebral palsy, so we needed to have imaging of his brain. Wyatt had his first brain MRI at 7 months old. This revealed a mass in his cerebellum. We were transferred to our amazing neurosurgeon and neuro-oncology teams. After several more MRIs, a spinal tap, and watching the mass grow, we had to find out what it was. He had his first brain surgery, a burr hole biopsy, at 15 months. It came back inconclusive. The mass continued to grow. We had to choose between a more invasive surgery or chemo for an unknown mass and not knowing if that would work. Wyatt had larger craniotomy and partial resection of the mass at 18 months. The tumor is nestled deep in his brain next to his brain stem which makes it impossible to fully remove safely. It was with this surgery that we finally got his diagnosis of a non-malignant tumor called a pilocytic astrocytoma. Keep in mind throughout this whole time Wyatt was struggling with his breathing as well. It wasn’t until well into all of the anesthesia and procedures that a pulmonologist finally took us seriously and diagnosed his with asthma and started him on the proper medications that he could breathe easier. His tonsils were extremely large adding to his respiratory problems causing obstructive sleep apnea. At 21 months he had those removed. In December 2019, at 22 months old, a mediport was placed and he began a 65-week course of chemotherapy because after the resection, the tumor continued to grow. Over the next year, he tolerated chemo fairly well but still had a handful of admissions to the hospital for fevers and low counts. Wyatt had to get a few blood transfusions along the way. He struggled with low energy, nausea and vomiting after his weekly treatments but was otherwise happy. To look at him from the outside, one would never know the journey he has taken.

In February 2021, Wyatt finished chemotherapy, 15 months after he started. His last MRI showed a near complete resolution of the tumor, it’s still there, but mostly dead! He will continue to need follow up MRI’s every 3 months for the next year and if they remain clear it will slowly space out to less frequent intervals. The past few months Wyatt is doing very well! He has started preschool and swim classes, all things he couldn’t do before! His speech is improving, and he is living his best 3-year-old life. He loves dinosaurs and cars and getting as dirty as he possibly can. Dad, mom, brother, and Wyatt all look forward to life as a brain tumor survivor.