GRANITE, Okla. - It’s a chilly winter’s day in Granite, and 18-month old Lincoln Calhoun is being held tightly by his dad to keep him warm from the brisk wind.
They are feeding a baby calf that needs nursing in the backyard. Little Lincoln loves cows, and believe it or not, he is also crazy about cleaning.
“He likes to vacuum four to five times a day with his mom,” says dad Kevin Calhoun. “He just loves cleaning stuff!”
Kevin and Marisa Calhoun say Lincoln is a toddler full of surprises. But the biggest surprise was revealed during a sleepless night a few months ago.
Marisa picked him up to soothe him and felt a strange knot protruding between his rib and his hip bones.
“For me, it took a long time to sink in. We just kept trying to tell ourselves we knew God had a plan,” Marisa Calhoun said.
A flurry of appointments eventually led to the Jimmy Everest Center for Cancer. Doctors learned Lincoln had cancer in not just one, but both of his kidneys.
“When they finally got a picture of the tumor, it was just huge,” says Marisa. “It looked like an image of a baseball popped up on the image screen, and it was really scary.”
Dr. Joel Thompson says Wilm’s tumors are rare, but it’s much more rare for them to appear in both kidneys.
“Unfortunately in Lincoln's case, his tumor was so large and didn't respond to chemotherapy. So, we had to take out the entire kidney, the kidney that had the large tumor,” Dr. Thompson said.
Lincoln still has one kidney that contains the abnormal cancer cells. Doctors are carefully monitoring that kidney, but with just one kidney left, they don’t dare remove it.
They’re hoping those cells will just remain dormant. The Calhouns say they appreciate the careful guidance of the medical staff at Jimmy Everest Cancer Center, adding that the clinic feels like a safe space for them.
“It’s been a really good place. It’s nice here, and everyone knows you personally,” Marisa said.
“I’m very optimistic we’ll be able to cure Lincoln and he’ll be able to go on and have a wonderful life,” Dr. Thompson said.
That’s great, because Lincoln’s cows are waiting for him, and his living room carpet won’t vacuum itself!
If you’d like to help support children like Lincoln who are fighting cancer, consider a donation to Jimmy Everest Center For Cancer.
'Kids With Courage' is sponsored by the Jimmy Everest Center.