About Me

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Bakersfield, CA, United States
Hans was a busy, happy, sweet and fearless three year old when he was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma. He fought his disease like a "gladiator" for nearly 6 years. Hans was an animal lover to his core. He was 'guarded' at home by his three cats, Black, Orange and Cotton. He also had his Golden Retriever, Honey, to keep him company. Hans enjoyed swimming, biking, gardening, grilling (he had his very own grill!), horseback riding, playing video games, building Legos, and flipping between Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Animal Planet. Hans loved all members of his family and he was a loyal friend. He had to go through a lot of treatment in his life. But Hans powered through it. His attitude was let's get this done! His motivation was always to get back home, to his family, pets, favorite foods and pool.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Happy Birthday!

It's Hans' birthday today! A these milestones I can't help but spend a little bit of time wondering at all that he has been through. Sometimes I look at a picture from when he was three just before diagnosis and it hits me for a second. Why? What would his little life have been like if this had never happened? But then, just as soon as that question hits you, you realize -- why not? I still have days I wake up and think - is this real? Does my kid have cancer? Do I really live in Texas? Yes, yes, yes.

All I can say is this. Hans is a little bit of a bad a**! You can tell even at a mere 7 years old and only 42", 39 lbs. He's tough. I guess it's critically important for him to be so tough. He hasn't had a day off treatment in 3 years and 9 months. He's beaten the cancer back twice and we are under the powerful thinking that the third time will be the charm.

Hans is sassy and very determined to do things how he wants, when he wants! But he also has a kind and loving streak. He's loyal to his friends, family and animals. He'll never complain about the side effects that keep him out of many of the normal activities of boyhood. And, he's about the cuddliest, sweetest, lovingest 7-yr-old boy I've ever met (when I'm still in jammies). I think it's his sassy bad-boy side that gets him through the rigors of his treatment. He's not the only pedi-cancer pt. who has a wild attitude. I think it serves them all well.

Obviously, we feel so fortunate to be his parents. Hans is a trip. Kevin will say after giving Hans a kiss on his big bald head, "Not everybody gets to do this." We get to show this kid a lot of love. And in return he gives us an entire world of love. And the trust he has in us, and in his team, is remarkable.

I feel both proud of him and scared for him. I'm proud of him for offering himself up to science in the name of multiple clinical trials. Without a word of complaint, his contribution is not only for his own benefit, but he's testing out these meds to help save kids in the future. I'm scared that we can't ever know what trial will be best for him and that we essentially have to take a shot in the dark. I'm scared we don't know the toll the years of meds will take on him, but we know it's better than the alternative - of letting the tumor have its way with him.

Thanks for following us on this wild ride. Thanks for the positive thoughts, vibes and prayers. I hope we continue to benefit from them for many happy returns.



Anonymous said...

Many kisses and hugs to Hans on his big 7th! He's all those things you said and more! Love, hugs and prayers for all of you...Aunt Holly and Uncle Michael :)

Anonymous said...

Happy 7th Birthday Hans!
Thanks for the post Lara, it is important time to step back and realize all that Hans has gone through since his diagnosis. Having you, Kevin and Elle with him every step of the way, leading the way through his treatment, has made your family a great example to others who don't know which way to turn. It has made your family strong and loving refuge for Hans!

Continuing Prayers and Love,
G'ma Stephanie

Anonymous said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HANSIE!! You're one tough little dude for sure. I can't wait to see you and get one of your special love pats!
Hope you got some special gifts for your bday. Have fun swimming - can't wait to see your flip!

Love G.Kathy & G.Dale XOXO

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear HANS. Happy birthday to you!

C.D., Theresa & Hayley

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Hans!! Hope you all have a GREAT day celebrating #7! Talk to you soon-
Sarah Thweatt

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Hans!! Thanks, also, to you, Hans, for setting such a heroic, amazing and so inpiring example for the rest of us "regular" people - you are a true Super Hero!

Love Tim, Shelley, Greta and Laura

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to YOUUUUUUU, Hans!!! You make all of our lives special each and every day!

WHOO HOO for sass...AND for the ever so sweet moments, too!

Love and hugs to you...I blew you a kiss...it should arrive in a few days...you can catch it on a cool morning breeze!

Aunt Susy

The Harvey Family said...

Happy Birthday Buddy!!! We love you very much and are looking forward to seeing you, you mom, and sister soon. Sending you great big hugs for you and the family.

Love Auntie Anna, Uncle Matt, Emma, and Hailey

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday "Dear Hans"
7 years old!!!!
Can't wait till you get tp Seattle&Edmonds! Wait till you ride in Grandma Stephanie new super car!! Bless your whole family :)
Pat K

Anonymous said...

Yeah --Happy Brithday Hans!!!!
Love, Claire, Patrick and Shaine

Blair said...

Happy Belated Birthday to Hans! What a little fighter he is, and an inspiration to us all! May this new year be filled with hope and blessings!

Kim Tyler said...

Dear Lara, I can't remember reading a more heart-felt and beautiful tribute to another human being than what you have written here. I'm in tears after reading it, and want you to know that all the immense spirit and grit and stamina of your family comes through your writing to those of us who are out here cheering for Hans and for all of you there. If love has the power to heal, it must surely be happening for him. Love to all of you.

Anonymous said...

Great post Lara! Time has passed so slowly and so quickly since Hans got sick. I'm glad that he's tough and sassy. But let's not forget his most important attribute...he's one heck of a dancer ;)

7 is magic,Hans.

Love to you all,