GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A mother in England wasn’t going to let cost or distance keep her from getting to the United States in hopes of saving her son’s life. So when she heard about a medical breakthrough at a hospital in Grand Rapids, she raised the money to get here.
Kat Musgrove and her son Kian took three flights to travel the more than 3,800 miles from England to Grand Rapids, where Kian was admitted to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.
At nearly 3 years old, Kian is accustomed to hospitals. He has spent half his life in them.
“He used to be able to run around, playing, jump; everything,” Musgrove said. “And then all of a sudden, he stopped walking. He had high temperatures and he couldn’t even stand up or anything.”
When he was 18 months old, Kian was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer that affects nerve tissue in the adrenal gland, neck, chest and spinal cord and is most often found in babies.
“It was the worst thing I’ve ever heard,” his mother said. “I knew it was serious, but I never thought it would be cancer.”
Kian had 27 tumors. Two had to be removed through surgery. Then he underwent chemotherapy and immunotherapy to get rid of the others. He’s currently tumor free, but neuroblastoma often comes back.
Now, Kian is halfway around the world. His mother hopes he’ll be part of a clinical trial at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Giselle Sholler says the trial could yield a cure to neuroblastoma.
“But we have to finish the studies to know,” she qualified.
Sholler says nearly 100 patients are enrolled in the two-year clinical trial. A handful have already finished the treatment.
“We’ve seen encouraging results so far in quite a few of our patients,” Sholler said. “We’ve shown in our laboratory that this drug targets the specific cancer from being able to form tumors in the laboratory.”
It’s promising news for Kian.
“I just keep looking at the future and thinking that it would be amazing if we could be able to have a normal life and you could do some great things with him — go on holidays and everything that normal families do,” his mother said.
Kian still has to undergo several tests to see if he qualifies for the clinical trial. Those tests are scheduled for Wednesday.