Ben – West Virginia
Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (ATRT)
One week after passing a checkup with flying colors, Ben fell asleep and wouldn’t wake up. When he finally did open his eyes, the 15-month-old started vomiting. Ben's parents knew something was dreadfully wrong, and within 48 hours Ben was in a helicopter heading to a local hospital for emergency brain surgery.
The doctors told the family that Ben had a rare and aggressive brain tumor called atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (ATRT). Wanting the best for Ben, his doctors referred him to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, 550 miles from his Huntington, West Virginia home.
Although ATRT is relatively new to doctors, St. Jude gave the family hope. “St. Jude is on the cutting-edge of cancer when it comes to kids, and they have been working hard to fight this particular tumor,” said Ben’s dad, Tom.