Keaton’s Story

This is Keaton’s sister, Katie. Thank you for all of the wonderful comments you have shared with us on this page. They have helped our family during this difficult time. If anyone would like to make contributions to assist with funeral expenses, please do so by making a payment through Paypal.
Keaton is an adventurous 14 year-old. He loves seafood, especially sushi, which is not what a 14 year-old normally craves. He also is fascinated by reptiles. His collection of reptiles includes an iguana, snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs and a tarantula. We call it Keaton's Zoo.

From a very early age, he was fascinated with animals, specifically reptiles. The minute you talk to him you'll see how vast his knowledge of reptiles truly is. He'll spout out a random fact about a sand boa and he'll talk about the mating rituals of snakes and frogs. We call him our mini-herpetologist.

In March of 2007, Keaton went into the doctor complaining of a pain in his hip. X-rays and scans confirmed that he had osteosarcoma: bone cancer in his upper right femur.

This is his story of triumph over adversity.

Latest Journal Update

Remembering Brandon

He would have been 22 years old today. Brandon Lee Gordon was born on 12/22/1992.
The number 2 he claimed as his special lucky number. Ironically, he died on 2/22/09.
Yet another of the February deaths in my life.

Keaton and I met Brandon and his mother, Julie, at MD Anderson when Both boys were battling the Osteosarcoma monster. Keaton had just had a thoracotomy lung surgery, and Brandon was hooked to an IV backpack of a particularly nasty chemo undergoing therapy for a relapse.

His mother wheeled him in sitting in a wheelchair, but Brandon didn't stay seated for long. That boy was the epitome of energy. He was up and bounding all over the room, literally bouncing off the walls, while Keaton and I looked on in amazement. 
He had the broadest and most infectious smile I have ever seen. That smile lit up the whole hospital, like a ray of sunshine in the midst of the gray faces and desperate trials of so many fighting for their lives.

His mom, Julie, was one of those strong, determined women, willing and able to do whatever it took to save her only son.
They were from the northern state of Michigan.. A long way from home. Hockey is a popular sport there, and Brandon loved and excelled at hockey. His team number on his shirt was of course...number 22.

When I read his mom's  caring bridge post this morning, I found my memory filmed over, a dull shadow  coating the faces, making those days and those moments a blurred and faraway scene. As if looking at misty mountains from far away..hard to tell if they are really there.

And my Keaton's face, also, fades and shimmers..turns into a collection of still photographs. The fact is that loosing him was so unacceptable.. That I still can not get think of him very closely without plummeting to the pits of despair and depression. Because all I want is just to have him back. To have him beside me right now..experiencing this life right now with me and his family and friends. 
And sorry, but being reunited in the next life, does not touch the pain of missing him and knowing what he is missing in this life.

So between two equally difficult scenarios, I truly do not know which is best. Keep my thoughts shallow, don't think too closely or too often about the past... Keep it a far away misty unreality..keep the pain at bay. But in doing so, will it eventually fade into obscurity altogether?
Will I forget my son's face, his smile, his being?
I don't want to forget. But I am tired of hurting and longing for things I can never have again.
But right now.. This day..I dredged up the memory of Brandon, polished off the film, and that moment shines bright, as a happy moment, a good thing in the middle of the bad. And as I remembered that vivid smile of Brandon's, suddenly flashing clear and sharp in my mind, was my own son, my Keaton looked at with me with his sweet smile, and I smiled back.

22 people hearted this



Lee Ann Eurs
By Lee Ann Eurs
As always, your words leave me breathless. Thinking of you, of Brandon, of Keaton, and the many children we have lost to cancer. I am a different person in response to knowing of them. Though this doesn't touch the pain of the loss, I want you to know that the impact ripples of their lives remain around the world. Sending love.
1 person hearted this
Pat Casey
By Pat Casey — last edited
Remembering you, Karen, although we never met. I so envied your strength on your journeys with Keaton... all over the world... fighting along with him and for him. No... there will never be that obscurity in your heart or mind. You'll never forget his face.. and he will be forever young! But I understand exactly what you are saying and feeling. March 22.. (another 2 number) will be 14 years since Shannon left us. I have to believe she's in a better place or I'd go crazy! But she's NOT HERE WITH ME! And it has never faded from memory a bit... those wonderful "Mom hugs".. the "I love you Mom"...the sparkle in her eyes.. her beautiful smile... Nor has the pain left me. My heart is with you... and I really hate saying "I know...."
2 people hearted this
Debbie Knickman
By Debbie Knickman
Karen, your love is eternal and so strong... you're a great mom~~
1 person hearted this
MiMi Olsson
By MiMi Olsson
Sending warm thoughts, With Love and Hope, MiMi
1 person hearted this