Isaiah is winning his cancer battle
DENMARK - Everyone who meets Isaiah Patterson is amazed by his strength and determination. The 3-year-old boy from Brown County is battling a monster, as his mom calls it.
"Neuroblastoma, as all cancers are, is a tough one. The relapse is high," explains Barbie Patterson.
When we first introduced you to Isaiah back in April, he was part of a clinical trial to kill the cancer cells that had broken off from a tumor near his kidney. He endured radiation, chemotherapy and antibody immunotherapy. After six months of treatment, Isaiah's doctor delivered the incredible news.
"When he looked at the scans and went 'Oh it looks like everything's good,' we were very excited," Patterson explained. "We were just like alright we have three more months to enjoy until those next ones."
The tests in June, and again in September, showed no trace of cancer.
"All cancers are a journey and we want to beat this one, and that's where the Snowdrop Foundation comes in," said Barbie.
Brian Gruender of Appleton started the Wisconsin chapter of the Snowdrop Foundation. This week, he's running from La Crosse to Neenah to raise awareness and funds for research to find a cure for pediatric cancer.
Gruender says, "It makes you feel great that you're truly making a difference, and hopefully children in the future may have less intrusive treatments."
The 165 mile "Courage Over Cancer" run will take four days to complete. Each day is dedicated to a different child. There's four-year-old Gavin Bugalski of Cudahy, 17-year-old Emma Rose Paulson who's battling leukemia, seven-year-old Braeden Jansen of Kaukauna and Isaiah Patterson.
"We've put a lot of work and thought into what we're doing for each of them, for each of their days, because to us that's their day. To have them all there on the same day at the end is going to be, it's going to be overwhelming I think," Gruender said.
Barbie gets emotional when she talks about Isaiah and the walk in his honor.
"Through this whole thing, we are very, very lucky. So to have him next to us walking or running it, we're just very, very lucky."
Barbie is cherishing every day with her son and looking ahead to a future free of cancer.
"It was heartbreaking, but we're on the other side of it and that is so rewarding."
This Friday, the Snowdrop members will run in honor of Isaiah. On Sunday, Oct. 6, the entire community is invited to the final leg of the journey.
The "Courage Over Cancer 5K" will be held at Memorial Park in Neenah. The race starts at 10:00am. Proceeds will go to fund research at Children's Hospital in Milwaukee. The money raised will also help the Snowdrop Foundation provide college scholarships for pediatric cancer patients and survivors.