Grant's story: A journey to recovery

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Like most teenagers Grant is itching to test out both his new car and driver's license. Unlike his peers Grant has to wait until he heals from his most recent spinal surgery before he can take a spin around town.

Nine years ago Grant first started complaining of back pain and his family figured it was over exertion or a strain. When the strain did not go away they found themselves needing St. Jude.

The then eight-year-old was looked at by half a dozen doctors before he found himself at St. Louis Children's Hospital. An MRI scan found a tumor on his spinal cord.

It was determined that Grant's tumor was actually a cancer that attacks the central nervous system. A few days later a surgeon removed most of the tumor.

But Grant and his family's relief was short-lived.

Six months after his first surgery Grant was told that his tumor had spread to his brain. The Saint Louis Children's Hospital gave Grant the option to try one of two chemo programs but the family had to pick blindly.

This time the family decided to go to St. Jude.

Several weeks of testing later, Grant was fully onboard with his treatment at St. Jude. He began a 77-week chemo therapy program around Thanksgiving in 2004.

When his treatments wrapped up in July of 2006 Grant's tumor stopped growing.

But seven months later Grant and his family received bad news once again.

The tumors were still growing and they developed a resistance to the chemo Grant had been treated with. Grant would undergo various other treatments until 2010.

The cancer and treatments began to affect his spine and Grant developed a hunch in his back. Grant's spine was close to compressing his lungs.

Doctors fused his spine together using bones from his rib cage to correct the problem.

Now Grant is at home back to playing his videos games and hoping for a speedy recovery so he can begin driving his new car.

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