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My Nephrew - Isaiah Henderson


I am Henny of ThaBizness's father and wanted to reach out to see if you would be willing to contact my nephew who has been diagnosed with a very rare cancer. It is terminal. I thought a telephone call from you might just lift his spirits as he is a fan.

Here is some background from my sister.

I received your request for further information on Isaiah and so I will begin with his phone call on Martin Luther King holiday weekend in 2010. His grandparents were visiting and he called saying he was in excruciating pain and crying. Shenitha had taken him to the pediatrician and they ruled out appendicitis and a hernia. So he began treatment for a strained muscle. Needless to say he went back to his doctor and the emergency room and still nothing. So I told Len to insist on a MRI because the CAT scan showed nothing. It was then they found the spinal cord tumor that had taken up his entire spinal cord in his lower back. He was immediately rushed from Wayne Memorial Hospital in Goldsboro to Duke Medical Center in Durham, NC. After consulting with a team of specialist including a Neurosurgeon, Oncologist and Radiologists he was taken into surgery on Feb 3, 2011. It was a grueling 6 hour operation. Afterwards, the family was told that they were unable to remove all of the tumor because it was engulfed at the cauda equina, which is the base of the spinal cord where all the nerve roots emerge. It was also the time we were told that his diagnosis was grade 3 anaplastic glioma. These tumors are classified by the WHO as grade 3 malignant tumors and are highly aggressive tumors, often occur in children and will usually progress to grade 4 within a few years. Despite treatment with chemotherapy and radiation these tumors recur.

After two weeks of ICU and recovery he was transferred to East Carolina University Rehabilitation at Pitt Memorial in Greenville, NC where he had to learn to function in a wheelchair. He stayed their alone for six weeks, because they thought parents would interfere with the rehabilitation process. He returned to Duke Medical Center to begin his 6 weeks of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

In early May 2011, Relay for Life held a fundraiser at Brogden Middle School honoring Isaiah
In late May 2011 the family took a beach trip to celebrate the completion of all treatment. However, Isaiah began experiencing excruciating pain again. He was taken to Myrtle Beach Hospitalin South Carolina, but due to his complex medical history, they did not feel comfortable treating him and transferred him back to Duke Hospital.

He was notified the tumor had recurred and would need two years of chemotherapy, but they decided with MRI's done every 3 months with no signs of recurrence he could stop after one year. However, he remained off all treatment for one month before being told it was back in June, 2012. Consults were made with St Jude and NIH in Maryland and we were optimistic they could do something else. However, this past week we were notified he was not a candidate. Therefore, Duke informed the family that the cancer has become resistant to all treatment and there is nothing else they can do. Isaiah had starting walking again this past spring and is now back in a wheelchair. He is literally a paraplegic and the doctors told him he would not walk again, and surgery is not an option.

Lastly, Duke is going to do 10 days of radiation therapy and that will finalize his treatment. He has 3-6 months left of his life. They will begin radiation on Monday August 6, 2012. He is in good spirits but he is aware that they can't do anything else but not his final days.

Make a Wish Foundation will be sending the family to Disney World in Florida August 20-26. They do plan to attend the family reunion in Atlanta this weekend. His cousin took him to a professional wrestling match with John Cena and he loved that. We will take him out for dinner with us for RB's birthday August 7 in Durham with the rest of the family. Sometime in September Hospice will come in and help Len take care of him. Finally, Pastor Connie Hall came over last night and we had a prayer vigil for the family. A lot of crying, praying anointing and speaking in tongue. His parents are exhausted and emotionally drained. However, we have to help hold them up. A smile, a hug, a kind word and lots of prayers.