A Mother’s Fight – Heidi Frank
(and her adorable family: Son Gus, Husband Tim and daughter Susan)
CB first learned of Heidi through a fundraiser on Facebook and was so moved by her story. Fate would have it that we would end up living very close to each other and we wanted all of you to be moved how I was, because we never know how our worlds can be changed in a split second.
That someone you love has been diagnosed with a cancer that there aren’t a lot of options for. All you have is your will to fight the good fight, which is exactly what Heidi has done and continues to do every single day.
Now Meet Gus!
Before his life changing diagnosis, Gus was just like any other 4 year old: active, silly, and adorable! One day he came home complaining that his leg hurt, which was worrisome. Long story short, they decided to have it checked out. Before delivering any news or the results from the X-rays, the doctor at the Urgent Care instructed them to go to the Children’s Hospital immediately, where they ran tests and did an MRI. The doctor there told them he was 99% it was an infection, but another doctor’s gut told them they should do a biopsy anyway. And so they did.
Their Lives Were Forever Changed.
The result from the biopsy indicated it was a type of bone cancer, but they didn’t know exactly what type. The diagnosis came later, but they knew that nothing would ever be the same again.
Diagnosis: Something in the family of…
- This form of cancer has a 5 year survival rates of 40-80%.
- They don’t talk cure–because a true cure does not yet exist
- Gus had countless chemotherapy treatments, discussions on whether to amputate his leg or cut out his femur, surgeries, countless scans, blood draws, infusions, supplements, painful recoveries, physical therapy, separation from dad and sister (and dog) while living half a year in New York for treatment.
- In the long-term there will be more surgeries, physical therapy, monitoring and appointments to look for residual effects from the chemotherapy, and relapse is a fear they must live with forever.
- Gus’s type of cancer has no drug to prevent relapse. If God forbid, Gus were to relapse, the only treatment option would be experimental with ZERO solid, proven options.
So much research, advocacy and decisions went into Gus’s care and treatment, and those decisions were the hardest the Frank family has ever had to make. The first mistake the Doctor made when he said he was 99% sure it was an infection raised a lot of alarms and questions throughout the entire process. Blessing in disguise? We believe so. Heidi’s new found love for curiosity and questioning basically everything is a parents love seeping out of everything she and her family was willing to do to save their little boy.
We Can Make a Difference!
There is so much to be gained from this episode, and we really hope you will tune in and hear Heidi talk about what it was like to go through every parent’s worst nightmare. Gus is (by the grace of GOD!) doing really, really well today. But that’s not to say that his life will be untouched by bad news. The fight isn’t over. There’s a lot of work that needs doing, but we can ALL make a difference in helping fight alongside the Franks. The smallest things can bring the most amount of comfort. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to do something meaningful, learn as much as you can about the things that affect people, and open your hearts to the world we live in.
There is nothing like a parent’s will to fight for their kids, so Heidi we are behind you and are encouraging everyone listening today to go to the link in the show notes and donate! Can you skip the Starbucks line today or forfeit that new pair of boots and rally behind this courageous little boy and so many children and families in the same shoes? Click on the link below and donate today. Or share this episode. Do what you can with what you have. We can play a part in ending childhood cancer… once and for all!
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