OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – 4-year-old Liam Bradshaw is a kid who is game for everything and doesn’t seem bothered by the large tumor on his left hand.
Even though the tumor is the size of a grapefruit, he handles the glue and paper easily with just three fingers while dressing a paper doll during an arts and crafts session at the Jimmy Everest Cancer Clinic.
Liam’s parents first noticed the tumor when it started growing at the age of just eight months.
It is a cancer called Ewing Sarcoma.
“We ended up having to amputate that part of his hand to get control of that tumor, which was expected for treatment of Ewing Sarcoma,” says Jimmy Everest oncologist Dr. Ashley Baker.
She says the surgery was performed to remove the tumor. Unfortunately, a piece of cancer they couldn’t remove started to grow again, and more tumor cells have been detected in Liam’s lungs.
Currently, Liam is receiving chemotherapy to stunt the tumor’s growth.
“His (case is) is surprising in that it’s growing so slowly, so that’s good for him. We’re keeping it stable and we use different chemo regimens to keep it from growing,” said Dr. Baker.
“Oh– he is my heart!” exclaimed his grandmother, Beverly Norton, who often takes Liam to the clinic.
He goes five days in a row on a three-week rotation.
She says Liam named his tumor Fred, “because children and people want to know what is wrong, so we gave it a name. He’s perfectly comfortable with the way he looks. People ask him and he just tells them ‘I have an owey.'”
She says she teaches Liam not to judge people on their outward appearance.
“I’ve taught him you look into the eyes of who you are talking to so they know you care. I do that with him and he’ll say ‘Nonna look at me,’ and I say ‘I’m looking at you.'”
Beverly says Liam once became so sick with a blood infection, they didn’t expect him to live.
The fact that he continues to thrive and enjoy life is a victory.
“When you say your prayers at night, he’s the first one you mention, because we truly see a miracle every day,” said Barbara.
Dr. Baker says that is the goal of all the medical staff at JEC: treating children in order to give them as normal a life as possible.
“Oh, he’s hilarious. He’s always happy,” laughed Dr. Baker.
If you’d like to help kids like Liam fight cancer, consider donating to JECFriends.org