The Declan Homan Family
First of all, Declan was born with a congenital heart defect called transposition of the great arteries. He had to have open heart surgery at 6 days old to fix it. It was extremely stressful, and we thought nothing worse could happen. However, not long after Declan turned 2, he started limping and acting in pain. We took him to the hospital. Nothing showed on the x-rays, so they thought he pulled a muscle. This went on for a while, and no one could tell us what was causing the pain. One day, he was playing and he fell. All of a sudden, there was a bump near his right hip. We took him back to the doctor. They still didn't know what it was, so they decided to remove it. After waiting many weeks for the biopsy, we got the news. It was cancer. A very rare type of cancer called synovial cell sarcoma. It is a soft tissue cancer that does not show on x-rays. They did another surgery to remove the rest of it and the area around it. The doctors felt that they had gotten everything, but they would still monitor. We were able to breathe again. We celebrated his 3rd birthday. Unfortunately, almost exactly 2 years later, he started having pain again. We knew this was not good news. They did a third surgery to remove a new mass. They confirmed it was the cancer again. They did a fourth surgery to remove more of the area, actually taking 10% of his quad muscle. They debated doing radiation, but decided against it due to his age and that the area was at a growth plate. His last surgery was February 6, 2017. He has since turned 6! His check-ups have been good since then, but he is still monitored closely. We hope he remains cancer free!
We attended our first THON in 2017. It was such an amazing experience! We were completely overwhelmed by the whole thing and all of the fantastic people. We love how everybody comes together and does so much for the kids. My kiddos feel so special! We were paired with Tri-STATE, and that has also been wonderful. They are the most amazing org! They care so much about us, and Noella and Declan love them! We feel very fortunate that we are involved with such a great organization that allows us to escape from the not-so-fun things.