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Stryder is just a big love bug, forever smiling even on his hardest days! He is full of energy and wants to be friends with everyone he sees. He’s caring and one of the sweetest little boys you’ll ever meet. Being only 4, he loves to run and play with his sister and chase her around the house and just laugh and be silly.
When he was 2, Stryder slowed down on his eating to the point where his parents thought he was teething. When this continued for over a week, they took him to the pediatrician but were told he was dehydrated. When they took him to a hospital they were told he was just being a picky toddler. By now, Stryder had lost three pounds in a week. Despite the success of getting him to eat a bit over the next few days, when January 2, 2022 rolled around Stryder completely stopped eating. He also stopped walking.
Terrified, his parents immediately took him to UC Davis Children’s Hospital where they did an abdominal ultrasound and CT scan. Stryder’s entire abdomen was full of tumors.
Stryder has undergone five rounds of induction chemotherapy, multiple surgeries, six rounds of chemo and immunotherapy, three rounds of immunotherapy with isotretinoin, 12 rounds of radiation, countless rounds of high dose chemo, and two stem cell transplants. Now he is starting MIBG therapy. Stryder was diagnosed when he was three months shy of his 3rd birthday, and he’s spent the majority of the last two years in hospitals, clinic visits, and labs for all sorts of testing. His mom, Shelby, hopes there comes a day where he is free of his disease and able to live life to the absolute fullest – healthy, thriving, and growing up alongside his sister.
He is Shelby’s hero because no matter what he has had to go through he has never lost his spirit. This disease may have taken so many things from him, but it’s never taken his smile. “That is everything to me,” she said.
Although this has been the hardest situation Shelby and her family have found themselves in, she wants to reassure others who may also be facing a childhood cancer diagnosis that there is an entire community out there ready and waiting to help. “No, it never gets easier,” says Shelby, “but I promise you will find your footing and you will get through it.”
One thing that gives her hope is Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF). While Stryder is fighting, Shelby looks to foundations like ALSF for reassurance that maybe someday there will be a cure or preventative treatment for neuroblastoma and all childhood cancers.
“Stryder is okay momma, it’s all gonna be okay.” – Mary, Stryder’s 3-year-old sister
Information provided by Shelby N., Stryder’s mom
Updated August 2023
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