Lucas was 2 ½ years old when he became sick with stomach pain on and off for about 6 weeks. He had flu-like symptoms and at times, would fall to the floor in pain. His mother would take him to the doctor repeatedly and they never found anything. They took an x-ray of his stomach and saw that it was dilated. However, the doctors attributed this to Lucas' crying and taking in a lot of air.
Finally, at a visit, the doctors took a CAT Scan of his abdomen and found a 6-inch mass. He was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. The doctors told Kristin to bring him to University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital. They went that night, March 15, 2002.
Lucas underwent extreme measures to shrink the tumor. He underwent 6 rounds of chemotherapy, once every three weeks. They collected stem cells for a stem cell transplant, but before they could do that, he had 14 rounds of radiation in his abdomen. He finally had the transplant in Oct. 2003.
After the high doses of chemotherapy, Lucas had bloody stools and vomited for weeks. Essentially, the doctors said it tore him up from his mouth all the way down. He still has scars on his tongue and is being fed through a feeding tube. He's making progress, but as his mom says, "it's like teaching him to eat all over again."
Finally, in June 2003, Lucas got to go home. Overall, Lucas and his family have spent more than one year of his young life in the hospital. They virtually moved all their things to the Ronald McDonald House, and Josh, Lucas' older brother was being schooled there, as well.
Currently, Lucas is doing well and is enjoying being a 4-year-old. He still has living cancer cells in his body, but he is on a high-dose of medicine to kill the cancer cells. The cancer cells remain in the tumor that was never removed, but the treatments shrunk it considerably and if they can continue to kill the cells that live in it, he should be able to live with it inside him with no repercussions.
When Lucas is feeling well, he loves to play outside in his motorized Jeep, in his sandbox and play basketball.