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Brady Williams
20 months old at diagnosis
Oakfield, NY USA
Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY and Memorial Sloan Kettering

Brady is the youngest in our set of triplets. He was born very healthy at 34 weeks and developed normally until about 12 months of age. At that point, he stopped achieving motor milestones, and while his siblings learned to walk, he didn't. We tried to find answers for about 8 months through 2 Early Intervention evaluations and through our pediatrician. It was clear that something was wrong as he even started struggling pulling up to cruise along furniture. We pushed to have him evaluated by a developmental pediatrician who totally rocked our world and diagnosed Brady with Cerebral Palsy. In the month leading up to the MRI to confirm this diagnosis, we poured ourselves into research and came to the conclusion that Brady just couldn't have CP as his symptoms came on after 12 months of age and he was getting worse as time went on. We insisted that the doctor include an MRI of his spine just to check for any abnormality. The doctor resisted for weeks, but finally agreed that if our insurance paid for it, he would include it along with the brain scan he ordered. We fought with the insurance company and ended up switching to a new company who agreed to the test.

On the day of the MRI we were devastated to find out that Brady had a massive tumor almost completely compressing his spinal cord making paralysis possible at any moment. The tumor originated in his chest and then had grown into his spine. A few hours later Brady had an emergency laminectomony at levels T2-T7 to relieve the pressure on his spinal cord. Two cycles of chemotherapy followed his diagnosis of Stage III Intermediate Risk neuroblastoma with favorable histology. The chemotherapy did not change the tumor in his chest at all. At that point our home hospital recommended more chemo, but we sought a 2nd opinion from Memorial Sloan Kettering who we were surprised to learn didn't advocate chemotherapy at all for Stage III kids. We flew to NYC and Brady had his 2nd surgery to take out the tumor in his chest. He has a small piece of tumor remaining in his spine that has remained stable and unchanged. He had scans every 3 months for the first year after surgery, and now is on a 6 month scanning schedule. Due to the invasiveness of his 1st surgery, Brady's spine is very unstable and he has a significant scoliosis and kyphosis. We currently see an orthopedic surgeon and Brady also goes to physical therapy. Brady made a miraculous recovery and learned to walk just before his 2nd birthday!

Brady loves to just do all the things that other 3 year olds do! He loves to play outside, do puzzles, play with cars, watch movies, and spend time with his family. He is a sweet, stubborn, smart, and silly boy!

Brady's blog: