Nate the Great
At 13 years old, Nate has already been challenged to fight against two rare brain tumors.
Nate was diagnosed with the first of two craniopharygiomas in October of 2007. He was only 16 months old at the time and it was heartbreaking. Three months after the first diagnosis, in January 2008, Nathan had his first neurosurgery at Children's Hospital in Boston. After nine hours of surgery, the first surgical team, led by Dr. Michael Scott, was able to resect the tumor, however, they were unable to do so without also removing Nathan's pituitary gland. As a result, Nathan has four life threatening medical conditions, which are managed using hormone replacement therapy taken every twelve hours.
Unfortunately, a spot reappeared on Nathan's brain MRI in August of 2016. For an agonizing 9 months, the spot was monitored with more frequent MRI's and then was determined to be a recurrence of the craniopharygioma. After numerous meetings with specialists to determine the best treatment approach for this recuurence, in August of 2017, Nathan underwent his second neurosurgery to combat the return of the craniopharygioma. Because he had lost his pituitary gland during the first surgery, and to try to ensure no other hidden cells continued to exist, the leading pituitary brain tumor specialist, Dr. John Jane, Jr., recommended the best treatment would be Gamma Knife Radiation surgery. This surgery was performed by Dr. Jason Sheehan at UVA Health Systems in Charlottesville, VA. It took another year of waiting and tracking the tumor with MRI's to find out that the Gamma Knife Radiation surgery was working and the tumor was responding by getting smaller in August 2018 and February 2019.
After a lifetime of working with the medical experts to learn everything possible about how to manage his conditions, Nate has become an incredibly tough, resilient little man. We are so proud of him!
We are thankful for the medical research that has been done so far, however, great strides are still needed. Again this year, our family has committed to help raise awareness of the medical research still needed to combat brain tumors and their aftermath.
Race for Hope - DC presented by Cushman & Wakefield is a fun, inspirational and family friendly event that supports National Brain Tumor Society and Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure in their quest to find a cure for brain tumors. We believe in their mission and want to be a part of the hope for the future.