Meet Our Heroes: Wesson Littau
Little baby Wesson of Winner, SD was the picture of perfection in his mom, dad and big brother’s eyes. And Wesson’s eyes told stories as well… to his parents, to his extended family, and to the nurses and staff that cared for him. His mom talks of the deep sadness she felt when she learned of the long and difficult road her baby, just three months old at the time of his diagnosis, had in front of him. Though they did everything they could to save him, including experimental treatments, Baby Wesson earned his angel wings 10 months after his battle began, and and his parents now fight for a cure in Wesson’s memory and in the hope that no other parent feels the pain of losing their child to such a horrible disease.
Here’s an entry from Wesson’s mom’s blog. This is the reason we need to fight cancer…and we need to win!
Sitting down and rummaging through old pictures of Wesson brings back lots of memories.
What is life like without him? Life after cancer…and the devastation that comes with it?
It is truly unexplainable.
Today is Feb 26th, which means it is the five month anniversary that my sweet angel ran into the arms of Jesus, earned his angel wings loud and proud — and was finally freed from the pain, suffering….and garbs of tubing that had kept him alive for so long.
No wonder we still feel like this.
He would be an 18-month old right now, had cancer not existed.
Had cancer over the last ten years been better funded, better researched…and made a bigger priority — at this very moment I might be holding Wesson – trying to settle him down for bed, but laughing at him as he played and wrestled with his big brother Keegan.
Instead I am blogging – trying to explain the unexplainable — what it is like to live life after cancer.
This very moment one year ago we were sitting inpatient in a hospital receiving a research-based protocol of a chemotherapy regimen so intense by nature that it nearly killed off Wesson’s bone marrow completely. Had he received anything stronger, he’d have had to be transplanted after because his bone marrow would have been done in.
And that was our options.
The bone marrow aspiration after this round of chemotherapy revealed a bone marrow nearly completely full of leukemia and ready to spill out and take over his blood again.
The chemotherapy treatment nearly killed Wesson, but left his cancer untouched.
This. Is. Not. Good….Enough.
My husband and I sat in the belly of the beast, facing the biggest fear you can face as a parent and watched our son, surrounded by 20 people, none of which were family, lying in the hospital bed as his heart rate dropped to zero. We shook hands with some of the most well-respected, top notch physicians in the country and watched as an intesivist shoved a tube into Wesson’s lung as a last resort to save his life.
I watched my own son’s Hgb drop from 10 to 5 in the matter of hours as his skin turned pale, and heard the words “He probably won’t make it through the night.”
And the people who walked this path with us, who treated my son from day 1: The nurses on the pediatric cancer units and transplant floors — wearing crosses around their necks and praying down on their knees as my son’s fever spiked over 105 degreees, trying to tell us “it’s okay, this is supposed to happen”….
The transplant team who worked endlessly and fell asleep on their computers waiting for his labs to come in every six hours….
The ICU intensivists, infectious diseases, nephrologists, surgeons, ENT specialists, oncologists and researchers in the lab who worked around the clock….
They are going to cure cancer.
I met them. They fought with us side by side and day and night, and are doing it for another family right now.
They are actively approaching treatments the right way, down on their hands and knees fighting with us like these children were their own.
They’ve seen it. We’ve seen it. And it’s ugly.
We need to give more.
More money, more efforts, more awareness.
And with time…they will get there.
At this very moment Wesson’s cancer cells are in a lab somewhere being studied in a research lab for the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project.
And I know that because of this someday, somebody somewhere is going to say — “I got it.” Wesson will be watching over from his home in heaven, and he will be so proud. He changed the way cancer is treated forever.
I believe that pediatric cancer can be cured, even the most catastrophic. But it isn’t going to happen while we just sit here.
We are the ones who can make a change.
Let’s not rely on the government or anyone else for something that we can do ourselves. We can raise awareness. We can raise funds.
It doesn’t have to be showy. It is not the celebrities, the politicians or the pro athletes who are curing cancer. It is the 40-year-old physician with tired eyes, back pain and a family at home who misses him….the nurse who just worked four hours past her shift because her 2 year terminal cancer patient might not be there when she gets back in the morning, the oncologist who spent her entire weekend trying to tweak together a unique group of chemotherapy medications that would target one patient’s specific cancer cells….instead of telling them to go home.
That’s who is curing cancer.
And Wesson’s battle with cancer will never be forgotten, and he will not die in vain.
He was put here to create change, and change will be made. As his mother, that is a promise.
Here is Wesson’s story set to Grace Potters “Stars.”