A survivor’s story

5 years ago, on the eve of Halloween a fall at the Bellevue Square Mall saved my son. See, he was born with the tumor, so the ER doctor said. It was that big! Had to have been missed on the ultrasounds, and we missed all the signs and symptoms. At the age of 3 years old, my son had a speech delay and so he wasn’t a kid of many words, but he knew enough to put together three powerful ones: My Brain Hurts. We took light of his complaints. How does one brain hurt?! We laughed every time he would say it. See, KeJe was a VERY active kid. So our remedy to his “brain” ache was to stop running around and drink water! As simple as that. Well, it wasn’t that simple after all.

At the age of 6, KeKe and his sister were running around at the Bellevue Square Mall. It wasn’t even long enough for me to scream out “stop running you fall and get hurt” that KeKe did fall. He was knocked out unconscious from the fall, unalert and unresponsive. What I still remember to this day is when he came to, he had a glare in his eyes. He couldn’t talk, but the glare spoke to me. The words I received were “HELP ME”!

A single mom of four, a raining night, the common thing I would have done was take my baby home, since there were no apparent signs of cuts or bruising, give him some Tylenol and tuck him in. Not this time. I took him to the ER to be checked out thoroughly, because that’s what the glare in those eyes told me.

An hour after a Cat Scan, the doctor returned to the room and asked me if I knew KeKe had a brain tumor. Suddenly, the room went dark. My world stopped completely! Everything started to make sense now. The “brain ache”, the speech delay, everything. His older brother started to cry. He then shared with us a couple of instances where KeKe would walk right into a wall, and Dj would say to him “What’s wrong with you?! Can you not see the wall in front of you, silly?!” Everything started to make sense.

The Cat Scan showed so much fluid around my baby’s little brain that was causing a lot of pressure. He was literally a ticking bomb waiting to explode. KeKe was rushed to Harborview Memorial in Seattle where fluid was drained to relieve some pressure and operation was a few days later by a Chief Surgeon from Seattle Children’s Hospital.

KeKe beat many odds. He’s a living and walking miracle. He got to have just one surgery when the surgeon warned us that there could have been several, because it was so close to the spine they wanted to carefully take out the tumor, and not risk leaving him paralyzed.

KeKe just celebrated his 11th birthday, truly a gift from God! 100% Tumor Free! He’s as sharp as a whistle and loves everything sports. He hopes to be a strong advocate to raise awareness to Brain Tumor and visit other fighters in the hospital, lending support wherever he can.

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