Nolan loves to play soccer and run around with his friends. But in August 2016, Nolan began experiencing symptoms that alarmed his parents. He was vomiting and had constant headaches, and just wasn’t himself.
Nolan’s parents, Carina and Ryan, took him to the doctor, but Nolan’s pediatrician couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong. Nolan’s symptoms persisted as the weeks passed. Finally, an MRI was ordered. The results were devastating. Scans showed a mass on Nolan’s brain, identified as medulloblastoma, which is the most common malignant brain tumor of childhood.
After Nolan underwent surgery to remove the tumor, his family turned to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for his continuing care. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since it opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent, and we won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.
At St. Jude, Nolan underwent chemotherapy, which he finished in March. He celebrated the end of his treatment with a No More Chemotherapy party attended by his care team, family and friends. “St. Jude is a blessing,” said Carina. “The work being done at St. Jude is incredible. It’s a blessing to know that a place like St. Jude exists.” Nolan now visits St. Jude every three months for checkups.
Nolan is a smart kid who has been very mature about this experience. “He’s very resilient,” Carina said. Nolan, who started fourth grade this year, is excited to finally be back playing on the soccer field.