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Too young for radiation: Clarion call for cancer survivors

Posted Aug 24 2008 9:46pm
Cancer is not just a tumor to be dealt with, eradicated or removed. Cancer comes delivered with a truckload of fear and frustration, and it is these emotions that seem as devastating as cancer itself. Eight-year-old A.J. Azevedo has a brain tumor but he is too young for radiation therapy. Surgery is not an option. The doctors cannot tell how fast the brain stem tumor is growing and they feel an operation might damage his motor skills. And so, for now, the small boy will not use a telephone thinking it might have caused his cancer and his mother disinfects their home more than is probably needed.

As any cancer survivor knows, there are endless doctor appointments and tests. Azevedo's mother says he doesn't complain. He worries how this life event is affecting the people around him, especially his mother. She said he asked, "Would you be better off without me?" To which his mother replied, "Buddy, you're the whole reason I get up."

This son and mother need all the cancer survivor friends they can get, and it is the obligation of those who survive to reach out to those who are valiantly marching through the first dark miles of a cancer diagnosis.

The news story comes out of a Twin Falls, Idaho newspaper. Azevedo attends Perrine Elementary School and is being treated at St. Luke's Mountain State Tumor Institute in Boise, Idaho. Hope takes only a moment to give, but the gift of hope can last a lifetime. If you can, reach out.
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