Meet a Patient: Anthony Lawrence

Anthony Lawrence
7 years old

In the fall of 2008, Anthony Lawrence began complaining of leg pains. His father had suffered growing pains in his legs as a child, so his parents, Alex and Mary Cecile, were not overly concerned. When flu-like symptoms landed Anthony Lawrence in his pediatrician’s office, he was referred to a local children’s hospital for testing. There, tests revealed that Anthony Lawrence suffered from a brain tumor. His parents were stunned.

Anthony Lawrence underwent surgery to remove the tumor three days later. Due to its location, the tumor could not be completely removed. A biopsy identified the tumor as an ependymoma, a malignant tumor that makes up approximately 6 percent of brain tumors in children. Anthony Lawrence was then referred to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for his continuing care.

At St. Jude, he received 33 radiation treatments and St. Jude continues to monitor his tumor. During the surgery to remove his tumor, Anthony Lawrence's eyes sustained damage, and he has undergone three surgeries to correct his vision.

Mary Cecile is deeply grateful to St. Jude for keeping her son alive. She prays each day that he will win this battle and go on to live a meaningful life. Her focus throughout the journey has been on appreciating each day she has with him. “I hope that we can keep him longer,” she said. “Every morning, I wake him up and cuddle him first. I just love this boy so much.”

Anthony Lawrence is in second grade. He likes to sing and dance, and he has memorized the capitals of all 50 states.