When you look into the eyes of six-year-old Drew Myers of Tomahawk, you can't help but become captivated with his deep brown eyes. You sense that he is much wiser than other children his age. He has a compassionate heart, sweet nature and great sense of humor. Perhaps it's because at the tender age of three, this adorable little boy was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a form of brain cancer.
Drew's journey with cancer began in August 2009. Within three weeks of the onset of symptoms and within hours of the defining CT scan, Drew's parents, Mitch and Jolene, were referred to Marshfield Clinic where they met with a team of medical professionals prepared to lead Drew and his family in the fight of their lives. "The diagnosis of cancer is one of the worst nightmares any parent can face," said Jolene.
"We trusted them completely," said Mitchell.
The first step in Drew's treatment was to meet with the neurologist and surgeon and to learn the tumor's location and their plan to remove it. Although the surgery was successful, Drew had a difficult time, withdrawing from everyone, including family. With the support of his family, friends and a dedicated medical team, Drew eventually established a routine and faced each day with courage along with some mischievous energy.
Under the care of Dr. Michael McManus, Marshfield Clinic pediatric oncologist on staff at Ministry Saint Joseph's Children's Hospital, Drew began his 55-week treatment plan. Drew's "routine" included eight weeks of radiation combined with chemotherapy. The family traveled three hours round trip from their home in Tomahawk to Marshfield every weekday for eight weeks. Drew never complained and each day brought a new adventure.
Drew continues to have MRIs with no sign of re-growth at the original tumor site or new growth.
Today, Drew is in kindergarten and enjoys Lego creations, bike riding, football and basketball. He has two brothers, Dylan and Derek and a very special twin sister, Faith.
"If I could share one message throughout the course of this unknown journey," said Jolene, "it would be a message of faith, hope and perseverance. Climbing that mountain has been tiring but so worth it. We have definitely been stretched into places that we never thought possible."
"We feel privileged to be able to share Drew's story," continued Jolene, "and extend hope to others journeying through childhood illness."