Tavian was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at the age of three on January 9, 2016. Leading up to his diagnosis, he suffered from leg pain and high fevers that would not break. After multiple trips to the local ER, doctors discovered a tumor in his abdomen.
Neuroblastoma is a cancer that develops from immature nerve cells found in several areas of the body, most commonly found in the adrenal glands. It’s typically seen in children under the age of five. Doctors told Tavian’s mom, Emily, that he had stage IV neuroblastoma, meaning that the cancer was spreading and that Tavian would need intensive chemotherapy treatment. He soon underwent four rounds of chemo, a major nine-hour surgery to remove the tumor, two more rounds of chemo and two stem cell transplants. He also underwent 17 rounds of radiation on his abdomen and the right side of his skull, followed by six rounds of immunotherapy. Tavian finally completed treatment just before his fifth birthday on May 5, 2017.
Tavian was in remission, but the battle wasn’t over yet. He relapsed on January 4, 2019 and began treatment once again on January 14. Tavian is also battling several treatment side effects, including gastroparesis, gastroesophageal reflux disease and chronic diarrhea. He also had his gallbladder removed shortly after his tumor surgery in 2016. Tavian is currently on four different medications taken four times daily to help treat — not cure — his GI issues.
According to his mom, Tavian loves school and enjoys being around his friends and people in general. Unfortunately, his battle with cancer means he’s not able to attend school on a regular basis and misses most in-school activities and time with his friends. Tavian and his family hope that one day, he’ll be able to return to the activities he loves.
Every child who has been diagnosed with childhood cancer inspires us to Rally On to find better treatments with fewer long-term side effects and, ultimately, cures. Please join us in the fight against childhood cancer by making a donation or setting up your own Rally fundraiser today.