Cancer Never Has The Final Say
Last August, three-year-old Ronan Thompson was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma cancer.
It came out of the blue, as these things often do, and turned the Thompson family's life upside down instantly. Ronan’s mom, Maya, and dad, Woody, took immediate action by seeking out the best doctors, experts, care and support they could find in Phoenix, New York and Philadelphia. Ronan's seven-year-old twin brothers adapted to a life of hospital visits, new daily routines and constant wondering about their younger playmate. The long days in the hospital were tough and the slow nights of unknowns were even tougher. But a family does one thing when their lives change this dramatically - they love each other more.
Neuroblastoma is a childhood cancer of the sympathetic nervous system that is extreme and aggressive. It is a solid tumor found in one in 330 children, yet is often undetectable and regularly high-risk. Intensive chemotherapy, numerous surgeries, radiation therapy, and daily medicines define a typical fight for a child under the tender age of five. The survival rate is only 30 percent; the rate is even lower for kids over five-years-old. Neuroblastoma receives less than 3% of annually funded research from the National Cancer Institute.
Rockstar Ronan gained a following of thousands on his blog as his mom posted regular updates. Her open, honest and heartfelt writing detailed the daily journey of cancer without apology or compromise. Readers experienced the highs of Ronan’s prognosis temporarily improving, and then felt the crash landing as the worst-case scenario arrived: the cancer returned and was more aggressive than ever. Nothing else could be done.
Ronan honored his mom’s request to please not pass away on Mother’s Day, May 8, 2011. His journey on earth ended in the early morning hours on May 9. He would have turned four on May 12. His funeral was held on May 15.Continued on the next page