In July 2010 George woke one morning with a headache and nausea. His mom Allyn thought heíd picked up a stomach virus. When the same symptoms came on a few days later the pediatrician gave him medication for nausea. By the end of the week the symptoms included fatigue as well. "When George asked to take a nap one evening while guests were over, I felt that there was something more serious [going on]" says Allyn. Research turned up examples of cases similar to George's for children with brain tumors. Panicked, his mother contacted his pediatrician and requested a brain scan, which he had two days later. Before they returned home there was a phone message from the pediatrician that indeed, George did have a brain tumor. He was admitted to UCSF that afternoon.
George underwent a 9 hour surgery to remove the tumor. The type of tumor he had, called an ependynoma, is relatively rare, with approximately 200 cases diagnosed in the U.S. each year in people under 25. Ependynomas do not respond well to chemotherapy so radiation is preferred for children old enough to withstand the treatment. Georgeís postoperative treatment involved 31 sessions of daily radiation, which were conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. While in Boston, George followed the Giants and wore his Giants baseball cap daily to his radiation appointments. After returning to the Bay Area in late October, George and his family got to see the Giants win the World Series.
During his recent wish to meet the San Francisco Giants, "George was all eyes and all smiles" according to his wish grantor. When a stray ball came his way, he was told to keep it, and during a break from practice he got to meet Eli Whiteside and Jeremy Affeldt, who also signed baseballs for him. All this time, he was followed around by a reporter and camera crew for Comcast SportsNet who captured his experience for their G-Mag program!
Currently George is doing remarkably well. He looks and feels healthy and strong. He has passed the 6 month mark of limited activity and is able to participate in and fully enjoy sports and other activities. Say his parents, "George is a miracle child that we feel incredibly blessed to have in our lives."