Diagnosis: Brain Tumor
Hometown: Wilsonville, OR
Favorite Athlete: Tiger Woods
Nike Shoe: Stefan Janoski Max ($115.00)
Nike Apparel: Chase AW77 FZ Hoody ($110.00), QT Nike Chase True Cap ($30.00)
Nike Footwear Designer: Hirotaka Usui
Nike Footwear Developer: Tamara Peters
Nike Apparel Designer: Skye McNeill
Nike Apparel Developer: Emily Johnson
His parents say it was like time stopped; everything was surreal. When Chase had his 4-year-old well check in November 2010 everything was fine. But by Christmas he was teetering over and bumping into things, as if he had vertigo. In January he complained his head hurt. Time to visit the pediatrician. The pediatrician sent them to Doernbecher to "rule out anything major." Mom intuitively packed an overnight bag, afraid of what they would learn.
When the technician completed the MRI scans, the doctor had not yet arrived. He sent them home, saying the doctor would be in touch with results. But ten minutes later, driving down the hill, their cell phone rang. It was Dr. Selden, Doernbecher's chief pediatric neurosurgeon. They needed to turn around immediately. Back up the hill they went, hearts pounding. Dr. Selden, was leaving for the day as they were gathering their belongings to check Chase back into the hospital. When he saw Chase and his parents he introduced himself. He did a quick eye/brain check, dangling his car keys then and there in the parking lot. In they went.
It turned out to be one benign, but fast growing and dangerous, tumor. Chase's brain was swelling; he needed surgery. That was on January 11. The operation occurred January 14. They went home on January 17. Seven days that felt like eternity. Time they will never forget. Time when a life was in jeopardy. Time when expertise and skill, coupled with intuition and action, made all the difference. Time that changed their entire outlook. They learned that time is a gift. They learned not to sweat the small stuff.
Chase's mind works with lightning speed. A TAG student with a spatial awareness and intellectual capacity beyond his years, when he thinks about his world, he thinks in 3D. He builds replicas of everything using Legos, tape, and ribbon. He draws maps of their house as well as all the routes to his favorite places: The golf course at Langdon Farms. His street where sparks fly from his scooter. The Nike employee store. And even the route to Doernbecher, where he got to ride in a top secret elevator last time he went for a routine MRI.
He thinks MRIs are actually pretty cool… he found out they work with a magnet stronger than the earth's magnetic field. He was so fascinated, he built an MRI… from Legos. He thinks he wants to be a neurosurgeon. Or maybe an engineer. Or an architect. In the meantime, this eight-year-old is going to do what eight-year-olds do. Grow up. Learn lots. Love his favorite stuffed animal, Dino. And have as much fun as possible. And he will do it all in his Stefan Janoskis… until he outgrows them.