Originally published on August 17, 2015

July 14, 2014 Derek was taken in to the emergency room for what we thought to be a simple ER visit for constipation. He had not been feeling well, and cried more than usual, and had not had a bowel movement in a few days, so his mom felt it necesary to take him to the emergency room immediately. The doctors thought an enema might help. His mom was waiting for discharge papers when she noticed a really large bulge on the right side of his belly and brought it to the nurse’s attention. So she called the doctor right away.

The doctor ordered an ultra sound STAT. That test showed a tumor in his liver that was so large it was pushing his stomach back . The doctors told his mom what they saw and what it may or may not be. He was admitted to Phoenix children’s hospital that same night where further testing was done. The very next morning the results were returned. Hepatoblastoma was the diagnosis , which is a rare liver cancer found in infants to 4 year olds. The doctors told his mom that the tumor was too large to be removed, so they wanted to start chemo right away with hopes of shrinking it.

His port was placed the same day and chemo started a few days later. It has been now 9 weeks later and the tumor has not shrunk, so the only option left now is a liver transplant. The doctors also told us the cancer has spread throughout his blood stream and they could see a spot on his lungs as well. He recently was hospitalized for an infection. He has also started tube feeding.

Derek is strong beyond his years and an inspiration to all of us. Before July 2014 he was this very active, inquisitive, happy, joyful, funny loving baby. He loves to play with his siblings and cousins. His sister, Destiny, is his best friend. He’s always calling for “DAZE”. Every one is “DAZE” . He has more bad days than good ones here lately. But when he is having that good day his smile will melt your heart .