Tuesday, January 22, 2013

JTSF Rockstar | Collin Kratzer (January)

Collin Kratzer is the JTSF January Rockstar and has the honor of being our inaugural Rockstar! Collin lives with his sweet sister, Neya, and his parents, Jenn and Bill. 

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Collin is very sweet, loving, and easy going. He loves playing with his sister, and playing on his iPad. He likes Mr. Potato Head, Elmo, The Wiggles, and Caillou. He likes to look at cookbooks, and pretend to cook in his kitchen. He has a sense of humor, and makes us laugh every day!

Collin started walking before he turned one, but he fell a lot. At his 15-month check-up, his pediatrician noticed that he turned his head and looked out the side of his eyes to see things. He sent us to a pediatric ophthalmologist, but at that first consult the eye doctor didn't see anything alarming. He decided to watch Collin closely, and would see him three weeks later. During those three weeks, Collin started throwing up and not eating. He was very fussy and it was hard to console him. He spent Easter weekend in the hospital with dehydration due to what we thought was a stomach bug. When the eye doctor checked him three weeks after that initial consult, he saw pressure on Collin's optic nerve and ordered an MRI. The next afternoon, an MRI showed a large tumor in Collin's cerebellum, which was why his balance was bad, he vomited frequently, and he couldn't talk or swallow. He was admitted directly to the PICU following the MRI, and had brain surgery the day after that to remove the tumor. Collin was officially diagnosed with Medulloblastoma.  

Collin had a total resection of the tumor. He underwent five rounds of chemotherapy, and then a sixth round of high dose chemo followed by an autologous stem cell rescue. He survived the life threatening complication of veno occlusive disease. He has had months of maintenance chemo at home, a few different times.

Collin is an absolute fighter. He has relapsed twice. He has had Gamma Knife surgery, and has participated in a Phase II trial. He has had 28 sessions of cranio-spinal radiation, and is currently on more maintenance chemo. He has also had a few years of occupational, physical, and speech therapy, which still continues.

Despite not wanting to go to clinic appointments or take medicine, Collin doesn't fight against doing these things; instead he is very brave and does what he's asked to do, usually with a smile on his face. He doesn't sit around feeling sorry for himself. He gets up everyday, and just wants to be a kid, doing "kid" things. He is very proud when he is told how brave he is. Again, a real fighter.

Collin’s parents have simple wishes for him. They want to see Collin have a chance to grow up and live his dreams. They want childhood cancer to get the awareness and funding it needs and deserves, so better treatments and cures can be found. For Collin, we fight for this!

You can follow Collin’s story on his blog (http://littleprinceyfellow.blogspot.com) or on Facebook at Our Little PrinceyFellow - Collin Cureageous 

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4 comments:

Carol Heisler said...

love it! Love Collin, he is a very special little boy!

John A Ellis said...

Wow - What a fighter. I'll be following this little guy on his journey to being cancer free! I just know he can do it!

dansworld said...

Collin is a very deserving Rockstar. I know that Jed is smiling.

Marie Fisher said...

Wow, indeed!