Wednesday, May 22, 2013

JTSF Rockstar | Bryan Weinsheimer (May)

We absolutely love all of our Rockstar’s and are blessed to have the opportunity to share their stories with all of you. This Rockstar has a special place in our hearts. His family means a lot to us and we are so proud of everything he accomplishes. 

Bryan Weinsheimer loves school and is a social butterfly. He likes to play soccer and enjoys riding his bike! He also loves the Penn State Dance Marathon (THON) and anything related to Penn State! We were lucky to meet Bryan through THON a few years ago.

Bryan’s parents, Tiffany and Jack, live with their two boys, Bryan and Braydan, in Lancaster. Braydan is in 2nd grade and loves dancing and soccer. He is an awesome little brother! 

During the summer of 2007 (Bryan was 6 years old at the time) the Weinsheimer’s went on vacation to the beach.  Bryan complained he didn’t feel well and didn’t want to do anything during the entire trip. When they returned home, he was still sick so they took him to their family doctor. He was diagnosed with a stomach bug and sent home with medication.   

After a few days of him not feeling any better, Bryan was taken back to the doctor but sent home with another diagnosis of migraines. A few days later he still was not feeling well so once again his parents took him back to the doctor.  This time the doctor looked into his eyes and thought that she was able to see some brain swelling.  He was then admitted to the local hospital for an MRI.

The night of the MRI at about 11:30 p.m., two doctors and a nurse came into the room and told the family that the results were in.  Bryan was diagnosed with a tumor in the middle of his brain that was the size of a golf ball.

Bryan was taken to the Penn State Hershey Medical Center that night via ambulance at 1:30 a.m.  When Bryan was in the ambulance, he asked the drivers where we were going.  They told him he was going to Hershey.  He said, “Wow! We are going to Hershey Park this late at night?”

Bryan was monitored all night and in the morning he was seen by the neurosurgeon.  He sent him for another MRI; this one was two hours long. Finally, after a biopsy it was confirmed that he had some cancerous cells in the tumor.

Two weeks later, Bryan was scheduled for brain surgery to remove the tumor.  This surgery was 10 hours long but because of the location of the tumor they were only able to remove 90%. He was in the PICU for two days following the surgery and three days later, Bryan came home. He was unable to walk and needed to be carried up the steps. He needed to go to therapy twice a day, three times a week. 

After receiving chemotherapy for three months, then another surgery to make sure that the entire tumor was gone, Bryan had six weeks of radiation therapy. Each day before school we would drive about 45 minutes one way for 16 minutes of radiation, then drive home so Bryan could attend kindergarten.

One of the last major steps in this process was the Gamma Knife surgery. Bryan had the Gamma Knife surgery, which is a high dose of radiation to blast the remainder of the tumor away.  This surgery was almost $250,000.


With all of the treatment and tests that Bryan had to and has to continue to go through, he remains positive.  He is a great big brother and always is willing to help someone out when they need it.

He remembers to keep his humor about a lot of the horrible things that he is going through. On April 8, 2013, Bryan celebrated a monumental five years cancer free! We are so very proud of him and can’t wait to see what is next for him! 


In the future, Bryan has plans to attend Penn State University and hopefully dance in THON to celebrate and honor other children fighting like he did.

On May 29th, Bryan will celebrate his 12th birthday! Happy Birthday Bryan! We love you! 


No comments: