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Hayden- 6 year old.


Shortly after Hayden’s fifth birthday, he began having headaches and nausea. At first, the doctor thought he had migraines and asked his mother to keep a record of when his head hurt. After only a short period of time, Hayden’s headaches grew more frequent. Then, he began having trouble with the vision in his right eye causing him to see double or as he put it, “seeing two.” It was at this point, his mother knew there was a bigger issue at hand.

Hayden was referred to an ophthalmologist for further testing. When the doctor examined Hayden’s eyes closely, he saw abnormal swelling and immediately ordered a CT scan. The results were upsetting: There was a mass on Hayden’s brain. He underwent surgery to remove the tumor, after which a biopsy revealed more devastating news: Hayden suffered from a type of brain tumor called medulloblastoma. Hayden’s parents had heard about St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and immediately asked their doctor for a referral.


Hayden underwent 31 rounds of radiation treatment, followed by four rounds of chemotherapy to help shrink the tumor. Physical therapy and speech therapy were also a part of his ongoing treatment.

While the idea of watching your child undergo treatment for cancer is overwhelming, Hayden’s parents found comfort at St. Jude. “Everything here is positive. You feel like everything is going to be fine,” said Hayden’s mom. “The hospital is really geared towards children.”

Hayden is a happy child who loves to go fishing at the lake, watch Scooby Doo, and play the Wii®. He recently finished his treatment and returns to St. Jude regularly for checkups. To his family’s delight, Hayden’s most recent sets of scans were stable.

October 2011

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