Sawyer Ellis

Sawyer James is a 9 year old boy who was diagnosed with a glioneuronal brain tumor in
February of 2022. Leading up to the diagnosis Sawyer had been having head aches for a couple of years
specifically after physical activity and recess. We always thought it was his allergies until November of
2021 he began having seizures. I knew in my gut is wasn’t going to be a good outcome. It took me a
long time to get the doctors attention with covid happening. The local hospital was not equipped to
admit him or do an EEG with him having covid himself. That was not acceptable to me as his seizures
were getting more and more frequent and intense. At first, he was having one a week and then it
became 2-3 a day. It was scary and I couldn’t just sit back and wait so I drove to the next closest hospital
that would see him with covid on Christmas Eve which was about 3.5 hours away. They did admit him
and caught a seizure on the EEG and I was quick enough to push the nurse button for them to see it
personally. Early January we had an MRI done which is when we found the tumor. The doctors were
very confident that it was a benign tumor. Surgery was pushed back farther and farther because they
then had common virus but couldn’t be under anesthesia that long with an illness. Finally February 14,
2022 he had the surgery to remove what they could. They were only able to remove half of the tumor
as the other half is wrapped around the circle of Willis and touching too many important areas of the
brain. The oncologist seems confident that no surgeon will attempt to remove the rest. Sawyer has
been undergoing chemotherapy for 12 months now and the tumor is stable and not growing. It’s still
there and hasn’t shrunk any. We will wrap up treatment next month and then we wait and scan every
few months to see if it grows again. Chemotherapy has not been too hard on him and he’s done really
really well with it. However, about 6 months into treatment something changed. Getting his port
accessed has been the biggest battle every week. Sawyer becomes very upset, fearful and fights. We
have had many tough days just getting to the chemotherapy but once we are accessed he does great.
His body handles the treatment well but does have some tough weeks.

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