Mason was diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis on February 23, 2017. The official diagnosis came after a period of several weeks of testing and scans to narrow down the possible diagnosis. It all started in January, when Mason started drinking and peeing way more than he ever had before. After going through a few weeks of working with his pediatrician to rule out various possible causes, we got a referral to a Nephrologist at Dell Children’s Hospital due to the chance that there was a kidney issue. The Nephrologist felt that the blood tests didn’t indicate kidney issues, and she scheduled an MRI for the very next day. That Friday, we had an appointment with an Endocrinologist, who informed us that the MRI had found a mass in the area of Mason’s Pituitary gland. Knowing the MRI was looking for issues with his pituitary gland, we knew there was a possibility of a tumor, but somehow we hadn’t been prepared to hear that it might be cancer. When the Endocrinologist stoically informed us that our next appointment would be the following week with Oncology, somehow all the threads that held reality together for our family seemed to come undone. Speaking, even walking to the car afterwards was almost impossible. I will always remember the moment I fell to my knees in the parking lot beside the car, because I couldn’t bear to get in and drive away. The rest of the day was really just a blur of tears and shock, while we tried to keep the kids occupied with things they would enjoy so they wouldn’t notice that Mommy and Daddy were falling apart.
With a cancer diagnosis. life changed in so many ways and on many levels. Emotionally, as parents, there was the guilt of thinking that maybe there was something we could have done to prevent this. Then there was the contradictory, yet equally traumatic aspect of knowing there was nothing we could have done to prevent it. We were (and still are, in many ways), just a big bundle of tangled up, conflicting fears and anxiety. Through all the appointments, medication, late-night ER trips and fevers your family was in survival mode.
We found out about Make-A-Wish through a friend whose child had been diagnosed with Leukemia the same week we got Mason’s diagnosis. She suggested we ask the doctor about whether or not Mason’s diagnosis qualified, and we decided we would, although we secretly held out hope that the doctor would say it wouldn’t qualify. I guess we still had some hope the diagnosis wasn’t as “serious” as it was. Of course, it was serious, so it qualified.
Mason's wish was to go to Disney World. He was really excited to meet Mickey Mouse. When you go to Disney World with Make-A-Wish, though, it's a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. Its Disney, Universal, Sea World, Legoland - you get tickets, transportation, spending money - the works!
We’ll remember Give Kids the World Village for their pool and splash pad, their daily gifts for the kids, their all-day free ice cream, and their incredible hospitality and caring volunteers. The theme parks were awesome, and Mason was treated like a super star, especially at Universal Studios. They ushered him up to the ride through the exit, and he met all of the characters he was really interested in meeting. Spider-Man was amazing!
We’re grateful that Mason got to have such a fun time and not worry about all the pokes and frustrations that come along with treatment.
It was definitely a welcome relief from the stress and worry our family was going through. We try not to lose sight of the fact that many, many families go through equally tough situations or worse when their children get sick, but we’re grateful that Make A Wish was there for our family and for many other families.
Make-A-Wish helps children and their families escape the reality of their illness. It may be temporary, it may only be a partial escape, but it’s something, and for families facing these situations, it’s a big deal.
That's why we're raising money. Please give, if you can.
Thank you for helping me reach my pledge goal and giving to Make-A-Wish® Central & South Texas. To donate by credit card please click on the link above.