|By Tim Unruh, The Salina Journal, Kan.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Only an instant had passed, it seemed, from the time they first noticed a tremor in their almost 2-year-old son's left hand and arm. That was 15 days ago,
The tremor didn't go away, and by Monday the 18th, his left leg was beginning to shake. The Birdsongs took their youngest of five to
A CT scan confirmed a tumor on the right side of Browynn's brain, and it was affecting the left side of his body.
Doctors called for an air ambulance, and the toddler and his mother were flown by
Browynn was diagnosed with a PNET (primitive neuroectodermal tumor, according to the
By the morning of
Spots on MRI tests turned out to be blood clots that are dissolving, and a shunt to drain pressure was removed Friday.
"He's doing well. He's now machine-free and able to go where he wants," Dustin said.
Chemotherapy is planned to zap any remaining cancer cells, and if Browynn goes into remission, no more treatment is necessary, said his father.
Radiation therapy, which isn't recommended until he turns 3, is being saved "as a wild card,"
Therapists have already swooped in to help the towheaded, blue-eyed little boy regain use of his left side. Chances are good that Browynn will be released from Children's Mercy long enough on
"They'll do a followup test on Monday,"
In roughly 15 days, Browynn has been deemed on the mend, and his parents are overwhelmed.
"Sometimes it's hard to remember what day of the week it is,"
Nearly as swift has been the tsunami of support from friends, family and the
The Prayers for Browynn Facebook page had 2,334 members Saturday (
"That's what we do in
"Saying 'thanks' isn't enough, but right now it has to be,"
Help hasn't stopped there.
A spaghetti dinner and auction are planned from
"We're expecting a large crowd," DeBaere said.
Thanks to one person paying for the food -- others are bringing desserts -- all of the money collected will go to the Birdsongs to defray medical and travel expenses.
"Denae and Dustin want to be there to thank everyone," DeBaere said. "They're working on it."
Insurance is a problem for the Birdsongs. Dustin and Denae, who were working for the same company, lost their jobs
But since they arrived at the hospital in
"We've applied for assistance through the hospital and different agencies in
Denae has since been re-hired by a previous employer in
Life has continued for the Birdsong clan. Maternal grandparents
But none of the kids were able to see Browynn.
A virus detected in the hospital prevented anyone 12 and younger from entering, their dad said, but the parents were able to spend time with their four older children.
"They're a little scared about the unknown, and anxious to be able to see Browynn,"
DeBaere also paid Browynn a visit, and left pleased after several hours.
Browynn, she said, is "doing very well, better that what I expected after having surgery. He's a strong little boy."
Community members were worried about Browynn, DeBaere said, and their only way to cope was to help the Birdsongs.
"I got calls left and right, and it didn't surprise me," DeBaere said. "When something like this happens, we're one giant family.
(c)2014 The Salina Journal (Salina, Kan.)
Visit The Salina Journal (Salina, Kan.) at www.saljournal.com
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