2 Years Old at Diagnosis
Meghan Anderson is an experienced oncology nurse. So, when her 2-year-old son, Luke, had a fever that wasn’t getting better with over-the-counter medication, she checked his stomach to see if it was something else. What she discovered surprised her. Luke had a mass in his abdomen.
She rushed Luke to Wilson’s Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida for testing and hoped that it wasn’t cancer. Later that day, her worst fears were confirmed. Luke had stage IV Wilms tumor.
The tumor was located on his vena cava, a larger vein responsible for carrying blood to the heart. The location of this tumor made his treatment more complex. Luke would need chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery to remove the tumor. Luke started chemotherapy right away in hopes of shrinking the tumor to make removal easier. On October 30, 2008 Luke had surgery to remove part of the tumor, and luckily it was successful.
Treatment was not an easy road for Luke and his family. He was hospitalized 5 times due to complications during his 10 rounds of chemotherapy and 12 days of radiation. His incredible attitude helped him stay strong throughout treatment. While he was in the hospital, he loved playing with Thomas the Train and his nurses often called him “big strong engine Luke.” He completed treatment in March 2009, and luckily has been cancer free since.
Now Luke is in second grade. He loves playing soccer, basketball, and participating in the Boy Scouts. While he does suffer from some late effects, his family is enjoying watching him grow up to be a thoughtful and energetic boy.
Since he completed treatment, Luke has enjoyed participating in local CureSearch Walks. He and his family look at the CureSearch Walks as a way to give back to the community that helped them so much. Find a CureSearch Walk near you here.