Today our friends had to do the unimaginable...they buried their 6 year old son. Ten months ago,his parents took him to the ER with abdominal pain. He was transferred immediately to St. Louis Children's Hospital. A large tumor was found on his liver, as were tumors on his lungs. He was diagnosed with Stage IV Hepatoblastoma - a childhood liver cancer. Sam then completed 18 weeks of chemo and had surgery to remove the tumor along with about half of his liver. The doctors were very optimistic and everyone celebrated. However, a scan in September indicated the tumor was back and more aggressive than ever. By late December they had run out of options. On January 28 his fight ended.
An unbelievable number of people were touched by this sweet little imp. For months a special Facebook account has been flooded with pictures and stories of his antics...all in the midst of the greatest trial. His visitation and funeral were attended by hundreds eager to share how Sam had impacted them.
Throughout his treatment Sam amazed people with his smile and his energy. His silliness could not be diminished. Just a couple weeks after his surgery, we went to the driving range with his family and Sam was right in the middle of the fun - he seemed complete unstoppable.
Sam mastered the art of the selfie. I believe everyone who knew him must have had at least one taken with his sweet smile.
"When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live."
-- Stuart Scott
Sweet silly Sam....you beat it. Rest in peace.