St. Jude patient Landon, age 9, neuroblastoma

The best around

Landon gives his all at everything he tries, especially sports. From running 5K races with his grandmother to competing in triathlons for kids, he was always on the move — until stomach pains began to slow him down. When tests revealed cancer, his family was devastated. Right away, Landon and his mom, Charlee, were flown to St. Jude

Landon has always been an athletic kid. He played baseball and started running 5K races with his grandmother. He was hooked after his first race. Not only did Landon like running, but he also developed a love for competing in triathlons for kids, which include a 100 meter swim, a three-mile bike ride and a one-mile run.

But during the summer of 2015, Landon slowed down. He started to complain of stomach pains, which worsened over time. When tests revealed Landon had a tumor identified as stage IV neuroblastoma, his family was devastated. Landon and his mom, Charlee, were flown to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital immediately.

Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since we opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90%, and we won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.

Landon with a dog

At St. Jude, Landon’s treatment included chemotherapy, antibody treatment and radiation therapy, as well as his dad’s natural killer (NK) cells. Landon also did physical therapy, which helped him regain his strength and agility. His love of running and playing baseball compelled him to work hard during his sessions.

“We’re grateful to St. Jude for everything,” said Charlee. “They made it so much easier for us. As soon as we got here, there was a plan. They know what needs to be done and they do it. That takes a lot off a parent’s shoulder.”

Since finishing treatment in November, Landon is thriving. He's on his school’s honor roll and has a new dog to play with, but what he’s really looking forward to is getting back to sports. Landon and his family are signed up to run a 5K in April and, after that, it will be time for Landon to start baseball. “He likes being outdoors and playing with his friends,” Charlee said. “He wants to be the best at whatever he does.”

Landon returns to St. Jude for regular checkups. 

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