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Archive for Sunday, January 1, 2006

5-year-old returns home after cancer is beaten

Faulkner family appreciates community’s support

January 1, 2006

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The cancerous tumor that had draped itself across the top of 5-year-old Christian Faulkner's lungs has disappeared.

"The tumor responded to the treatments," said Christian's mother, Amanda Faulkner. "It's gone."

Christian, who spent the past 14 days - including Christmas - at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., returned home Friday.

"I have to give him a shot of blood-thinner medicine twice a day because he had a clot in his right leg," Faulkner said. "And we have to keep using the feeding tube they put in because he's lost so much weight. He weighs between 37 and 38 pounds. They want him to gain at least seven; 10 would be better.

"We still have two years of treatments," she said. "But other than that, he's OK."

Faulkner, 26, said she and her husband, Jay, - he's a security guard, she's a day care worker - are reeling from the public's response to their struggle to stay on top of their bills while remaining at Christian's bedside.


Hooked up to his feeding tube, 5-year-old Christian Faulkner rests in his Lawrence home Saturday afternoon with his father, Jay Faulkner. Christian spent the previous two weeks at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., successfully undergoing treatment for removal of a cancerous tumor that was across his lungs.

Hooked up to his feeding tube, 5-year-old Christian Faulkner rests in his Lawrence home Saturday afternoon with his father, Jay Faulkner. Christian spent the previous two weeks at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., successfully undergoing treatment for removal of a cancerous tumor that was across his lungs.

"We want to say thank you, but we're speechless," she said. "And even if we knew what to say, I don't think words would be enough. We're just amazed."

After a Dec. 21 story on the Faulkners' plight appeared in the Journal-World, donations to an account set up in their name topped $8,000.

A Kansas City television station helped arrange the donation of a 1997 Ford Windstar minivan through Cars 4 Christmas, a Kansas City charity.

"The car I've been driving belongs to my parents," Faulkner said, "so my mother is going to get her car back."

Faulkner said she and her husband planned to use the $8,000 to buy tags and insurance for the minivan.


Christian Faulkner watches in the background as his mother, Amanda, prepares syringes used to flush the lines of his feeding tube. Medical treatments to cure cancer have reduced Christian's weight to about 38 pounds, and his parents are hoping that he can quickly gain back his weight so his feeding tubes can be removed.

Christian Faulkner watches in the background as his mother, Amanda, prepares syringes used to flush the lines of his feeding tube. Medical treatments to cure cancer have reduced Christian's weight to about 38 pounds, and his parents are hoping that he can quickly gain back his weight so his feeding tubes can be removed.

"We're going buy a computer, too, a laptop, so I can keep all of Christian's records in one location and have it with me all the time," Faulkner said.

"The rest of the money is just going to sit there until we need it for bills," she said.

Faulkner also will use the computer to post updates on Christian's condition on www.caringbridge.org, a free Web site provided through Children's Mercy Hospital.

"Christian got some Christmas presents, too, but we don't know who they're from because they just showed up and the tags said 'From Santa' or 'From St. Nick' or 'From Santa's little elves,'" Faulkner said.

Debi Moore lives across the street from the Faulkners.

"They are going to have a lot of expenses caring for Christian on a day-to-day basis," she said. "I can assure you the money won't be spent frivolously. They are not that kind of people."

The bulk of Christian's medical bills are covered by the family's participation in HealthWave, the state's health insurance program for low-income families.

"We're not (sure) what all's covered and what's not," Faulkner said. "We're playing that by ear."

It's unclear when Christian will rejoin his kindergarten classmates at Sunflower School.

"We have to get his blood count up, and he'll have to regain his strength and energy," Faulkner said. "He's lost so much weight and muscle mass; it's difficult for him to walk. It'll be awhile."

Comments

SAHM2tylrnathan 8 years, 11 months ago

Way to go Christian! May 2006 bring you continued treatment success. I would love to visit your CB page when you get it set up. I know lots of cool kids from CB who are kicking cancer's b*tt just like you!

Just an FYI for those unfamiliar with CaringBridge--it is not exclusive to any hospital but rather a service available to any family worldwide with a member undergoing treatment of any kind. It is a fantastic way to keep far-flung family and friends apprised of a loved one's condition without making lots of phone calls or separate e-mails. It is free and you can set up a page through www.caringbridge.org.

KansasKel 8 years, 11 months ago

What wonderful news to start the New Year out with! I'm so happy for the Faulkner family.

LHarper 8 years, 11 months ago

We are so happy to hear that Christian is cancer free. God bless you and your family in the new year!

lv2ride 8 years, 11 months ago

WAY TO GO CHRISTIAN!!!! I knew you could do it!!! You have an angel sitting on your shoulder and that angel showed you how to fight the toughest battle of your life!! God Speed Christian!! Congrats to the Faulkner Family!!!! God bless!! Happy 2006 and many many more together!!!

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