Meet one of our next bedroom candidates, a 14 year-old boy from Green Bay, WI area named Nat! When Nat was born, he had bleeding on his brain resulting in developmental delays characteristic of autism, which includes speech delays and difficulty with social interactions. Last year he began developing chest pain that was initially thought to be viral, but it progressed and a rheumatoid workup was completed with negative results. His symptoms continued, and he began to develop abdominal pain. He was ultimately diagnosed with desmoplastic small round blue cell tumor in May of 2017. This is a rare cancer with tumors formed in the abdomen. He underwent several weeks of chemo before receiving scans which did not show improvement. Therefore, a different chemo was started at the end of August and currently has shown some progress. Initially he was hospitalized for several days for chemotherapy but is now able to receive treatment administered at home. It causes him to be very tired and have taste issues. As a result, he only eats select foods and receives tube feedings. The hope is for the tumors to shrink enough from the chemotherapy for Nat to eventually have extensive surgery in hopes of obtaining remission.

Nat’s family has learned that Nat is stronger and more resilient than any of them could have ever imagined. He was initially very scared when he was first diagnosed due to his only past experience with cancer was his Grandpa who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and passed away a short 3 months later. It has taught Nat and his family to be more resilient overall and enjoy the small things in life a bit more. He is very proud of himself for being so brave through all the procedures.

Nat is very intelligent when it comes to dates and typically asks everyone he meets how old they are, and he then tells them what year they were born. He very much enjoys speaking to family and friends on the phone. Nat has loved road signs since he was very young and has them dispersed throughout his room. When he was younger he would always have his parents take the long way home so he could see more stop signs. He likes to visit his Grandma in Florida and likes the road signs in her retirement community. He loves to go out to eat at fast food places, specifically A&W, Little Caesars and Dairy Queen. He even has hopes of working at the Dairy Queen drive thru. He likes to hang out and look at pictures on his iPad or watch car videos. One of his favorite shows to watch is the Big Bang Theory. Nat also enjoys looking through new car brochures from the dealerships and going for rides in people’s cars. Throughout Nat’s journey, the resilience and bravery that he has demonstrated are an inspiration. We can’t wait to create him a special, comfortable oasis where he can dream and be surrounded by his road signs and filled with his favorite things. We can’t wait to hangout with Nat and his family while bringing his dream bedroom to life!

by Kelly O'Donnell

Executive Director

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