At just nine months old, Brayden was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare type of pediatric cancer, after his pediatrician noticed an abnormal mass during a routine check-up.
Upon initial assessment at Children’s National, Brayden was deemed a strong candidate for a new pediatric cancer study that would monitor tumor growth in lieu of formal treatment such as radiation and chemotherapy. Given that the tumor was localized to Brayden’s abdomen, doctors recommended this course of action as long as the tumor did not grow in excess of 30 percent of its size when the original scan was taken.
However, on the day Brayden’s parents, Brandy and Makeem, were ready to sign the paperwork for the study, a final scan revealed that the tumor had already increased by 30 percent – increasing from the size of an orange to a grapefruit. Two weeks later, Brayden began outpatient chemotherapy treatment.
Following two cycles of chemotherapy, Brayden returned for a CT scan, which showed remarkable improvement. Brayden’s lungs and organs, which had been completely covered by the tumor in previous scans, were now visible. Based on these results, Brayden was able to stop chemotherapy and begin a medication-based treatment plan to increase his white blood cells.
After three months of treatment at Children’s National, Brayden’s scans showed no indication that a tumor ever existed. He is growing into a sweet boy who loves playing with balloons.