Just four days after a perfect 3-year checkup, Tanner was diagnosed with a Wilms Tumor – a type of kidney cancer. Two days later, Tanner was in surgery at Children’s Hospital to remove his right kidney and grapefruit-sized tumor attached to it. The tumor was fragile as a water balloon and ruptured during surgery. But thankfully, the surgical team was able to remove all of the tumor and the cancerous cells from Tanner’s abdomen. However, because Wilms tumor is fast-growing, it would need to be treated aggressively.
Tanner had two weeks to heal from his surgery before starting chemotherapy and radiation treatments. In all, Tanner had 13 treatments of radiation, for which he had to be put to sleep each day. At the same time, he also started 30-weeks of chemotherapy.
To date, Tanner’s left kidney is functioning great, as if he had never lost his right kidney. About every 6 weeks, he has new scans to make sure there are no new growths. So far, Tanner has only had a couple of setbacks, when his counts were too low to receive treatment. He has always been a happy-go-lucky kid, always smiling and doing whatever he could to keep other people smiling. In spite of what he goes through – being sick, treatments, and trips to the clinic to have his counts checked – Tanner has stayed his happy, giggly self.