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Ethan is a 12-year-old boy who loves to draw, build Legos and play with his puppy Milo. He’s a Yankees fan through-and-through, and also enjoys watching movies with his family and playing his siblings Israel, Najma, Janoah, and Ludmila in Mario Kart. A strong, joyful kid with a smile that lights up any room, Ethan hasn’t let his fight with anaplastic ependymoma bring him down.
Ethan started showing symptoms in March 2018. He was unsteady on his feet and got dizzy when lying on his side. Daily vomiting turned to hourly vomiting, and he was sleeping more than normal. For months, his parents took him to multiple specialists before he finally received an MRI that revealed a brain tumor. Kind and gentle Ethan had surgery to remove the tumor that same week. Three weeks later he started 30 rounds of radiation. This treatment seemed to work – his routine MRIs remained clear until May 2019.
However, Ethan had been having severe back pain from new tumors in his spine. A second surgery was unable to remove all of the tumor, and after recovering from the surgery, he started 30 more rounds of radiation. He also went to physical therapy to learn to walk again.
In November 2019, Ethan received some good news: his routine MRI was completely clear of tumors. Unfortunately, in February 2020, four new brain tumors were discovered. Surgery was no longer an option, so he began 10 rounds of radiation.
Ethan had been very stable and energetic up until the end of August, when another MRI showed tumor growth in his spine and head. He underwent another 12 rounds of radiation. Today, Ethan is in a wheelchair, is slowly losing function, and is now receiving comfort care.
Ethan’s family is so thankful for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, especially the SuperSibs program. Ethan’s siblings always feel special when something comes in the mail just for them.
Information provided by Kristen Haley, Ethan’s mom
Updated October 2020
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