Brave little boy

Published 10:23 am Monday, October 15, 2012

To the Editor:

As many of you know Henry Hodges was diagnosed with a brain tumor on June 12 at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville. On June 26 his tumor was identified as an Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor or ATRT at UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill.

Henry is undergoing treatment at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk. He is currently completing his third round of chemo with positive results. After completing this round of chemo he will complete 6 weeks of proton radiation therapy at Hampton University’s Proton Therapy Institute. Henry is the first child to be sedated for therapy at the Institute.

We are very excited and fortunate that the timing for this worked out in Henry’s favor.  Once he has completed his radiation therapy he will complete two more rounds of consolidated chemo.

Henry has made great progress and the tumor has responded well to his treatments. MRIs of Henry’s tumor have shown it decreasing in size so far.  We are waiting for a third MRI to be scheduled this week to see how the tumor has responded to this past round.

Henry continues to be a very active two year old who loves spending his days playing with his toys, cutting grass, loving on his baby brother and visiting with his family. He has amazed his doctors and nurses with how much he talks and how smart he is. He amazes me every day with how brave he is.  He has endured so much and has complained so little.

Since Henry’s diagnosis the support that we have received has been unbelievable. We have received support from so many people in our community and surrounding communities that know us or our family or who have just heard about Henry and have wanted to help in any way they could. The support has been so overwhelming that I do not know how to begin to thank everyone for what they have done. Every kind word, prayer, monetary donation, meal, fundraiser, and gift is appreciated more than I can begin to express in words.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. I do not know how we would have made it this far without all of our family, friends and community supporting us. We look forward to sharing Henry’s success with each of you.

I would like to add one more thought for each of you, be thankful for the little things in life, one day you will realize that they were the biggest things in your life.  Our battle with cancer is teaching us many things, one of which is how much little things mean and how much you miss them when they change like bath time, eating together, sleeping in your own bed, and giving your doggy treats.

Again thank you for everything that has been done and is being done to support our family.

Melissa Parker