Despite brain tumor a young St. Jude patient fights on

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Playing with friends, fishing trips and future plans have been put on hold for Ryan.

A St. Jude patient, Ryan has medulloblastoma, a malignant brain tumor that affects his vital systems.

When it comes to Ryan's chances of survival it is not good - just one percent.

Ryan's mother, Jasmine, says the road to diagnosis was long and difficult. After a month of testing doctors told Jasmine they thought Ryan was making himself throw up, something she refused to believe.

An MRI scan during a trip to the ER finally revealed Ryan's real diagnosis. An ER nurse broke the news to Jasmine.

"Just as bluntly as she could tell you she told me ‘Your son has a massive brain tumor and you have exactly twenty minutes to pack a bag,'" Jasmine said.

The diagnosis brought both relief and fear to Jasmine, glad to have an answer at last. But she had to explain what was wrong to Ryan himself.

"I said, ‘Baby you got a bug in your head that laid some eggs that we have to go to a special hospital to get them out before they damage your brain'," Jasmine said.

After a nine-hour surgery when doctors removed as much of the tumor as they could from his brain, Ryan now stays in the target house with his mother. He recently had a stem cell transplant and is undergoing chemo that leaves Ryan's immune system basically non-existent.

Despite the odds, Ryan still fights for his future. An avid storm chaser in his home state of Alabama, Ryan wants to be a weather man.

"He says, ‘Mama, I am that one child living. I'll keep going, I'll keep trying, I'll keep fighting,'" Jasmine said. "I told him, ‘If you're done fighting let me know, it's your body.'"

His mother says her son is her hero, bravely weathering this storm of his own.

"He's the strongest. He's stronger than I am," Jasmine said. "He wipes my tears away, he says ‘Mommy, I won't let you down, I'll never let you down.'"
 

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