Like many kids who live in communities all across our province, Brody started playing hockey when he was very young. He was on the ice in kindergarten but when the next winter came around, he wasn't able to skate anymore. It wasn't because he didn't want to skate, it was because he just physically couldn't do it. What his parents Rick and Melanie didn't know at that time was "why" their young son was deteriorating in front of their eyes.
In addition to not being able to skate, Brody's balance was really off, he was vomiting frequently and his energy level was way down. After visits to the doctor and a chiropractor in February of this year, Mel and Rick were told to take him to emergency right away. They couldn't have imagined the news they would receive: Brody had a rare brain tumour. The official diagnosis, stage II ependymoma.
Just two days later, Brody underwent a 14-hour surgery, one of the hardest the surgeon said he'd done in nearly five years. The doctors were worried he would not speak again. Brody was so tough though and he relearned everything, including walking and talking. After just two weeks, he was released from the hospital and began his treatment as an outpatient at CancerCare Manitoba. Treatment that has included several cycles of chemotherapy, over 30 radiation treatments, blood transfusions, daily medicine injections at home and numerous MRIs. All of this and he's just seven years old.
His return home to St-Pierre-Jolys allowed him to spend time with his older sister Dayna and his pets, dog Archer and cats Pumpkin and Cozette. When fall came around, Brody joined his classmates in grade two. His parents' faces light up when they talk about him returning to a normal routine.
"Brody loves school and he always looks forward to it. I think it's a place where he can feel just like the other kids. He loves recess, gym, music and art classes," says his mom Melanie. "His teacher says he's warm, loveable, motivated and never complains."
The results of Brody's most recent MRI show his brain tumour is currently stable. He's on a break from his treatment right now and will have another MRI on November 22. The wait until this next scan is very difficult for everyone.
Brody was enrolled in a pediatric clinical trial at the outset of his treatment. This trial and others are available for Manitoba children with cancer because of the amazing generosity of Hockey Fights Cancer supporters. Brody's parents are eternally grateful to each and every one of you.
"Research and trials are so important to us. Brody being able to participate in a clinical trial gives us hope for our son's future. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to everyone who supports Hockey Fights Cancer every year," says Rick and Melanie.