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Before Keaton King turned two years old, doctors found a massive tumor in the boy’s brain. He was transferred by Lifeline to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis where doctors successfully removed the tumor.
He was diagnosed with Anaplastic Ependymoma, which is when cells in the central nervous system begin to multiply rapidly and form tumors, according to Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center.
Keaton underwent another surgery and six weeks of proton radiation treatment, getting an MRI of his brain every three months.
“We owe everything to Dr. Smith, his neurosurgeon at Riley Hospital,” Keaton’s mother, Jessica Harris said. “If it wasn’t for her, Keaton wouldn’t be alive today.”
Keaton is now a preschool student at Sommer Elementary.
“If you were to meet Keaton, he is a normal 5-year-old boy,” Harris said. “He doesn’t really show any signs of illness.”
Keaton and his family want to give back and are collecting toy donations for Riley patients. This is the second year to do so. This year’s drive ends Tuesday.
There are five collection sites: Gregg’s Corner Market at Waynetown, Tom’s Marine, Studio J Hair Studio, York Dealership and D&D Trash Service.
After Tuesday, donations may be left at D&D Trash Service in Crawfordsville and the family will take them to the hospital on their next visit.
“The first year Keaton was diagnosed, there was a young girl who was battling brain cancer, she was collecting play doh for Riley,” Harris said. “I am also on a facebook group for Keaton’s type of cancer, and there is a mother on that page that collects and sends out Legos to children who are going through treatment to help brighten up their day. Between those two and previous fundraising is where the inspiration came from.”
A small growth that is form means another surgery for Keaton.
“Over the last year we have been watching a spot on his MRI of his brain,” Harris said.
Doctors are not sure what the small growth is, but they do know it is growing in size. Surgery is scheduled for Feb. 5 at Riley.
Donations for Keaton’s family can be found on their facebook page, “Keaton’s Fight Against Anaplastic Ependymoma-Brain Cancer.”