Welcome to Wyatt’s CaringBridge website. Wyatt and his family were as surprised as the rest of us to discover on Feb 11, 2019 that Wyatt, at age 11, has a terminal brain cancer called DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma). This is a type of tumor that starts in the brainstem, (the part of the brain just above the back of the neck and connected to the spine) and spreads to the brain and at times the spinal cord. The brainstem controls breathing, heart rate and the nerves and muscles that help us see, hear, walk, talk and eat. In Feb., Veronica and Jason noticed Wyatt becoming a bit more “clumsy”, having headaches now and then and being very tired. At first, just as most parents would, they associated the symptoms to likely just being a part of adolescence and made sure he was getting proper nutrition and sleep . As an adolescent preteen, they wondered if he was just starting to get a bit lazy and needed some motivation. If you know Veronica well at all, you already know that she, Jason, and Wyatt had “talks” about motivation and any challenges with friends or school that might be encouraging his more recent sluggish behaviors. However, Wyatt didn’t really have any answers.
On Monday Feb 11, when Wyatt fell out of his chair putting on his shoes to go to school, because he lost his balance even while sitting, Veronica immediately understood that something more was wrong. She took him to their pediatrician, who tested Wyatt’s balance, cognitive understanding, and analyzed some of Wyatt’s other symptoms the Salmons family had noticed lately. Their pediatrician recognized urgency and immediately referred Wyatt to the hospital where Wyatt’s brain tumor was then discovered.
This diagnosis was devastating news. Unfortunately, DIPG is an extremely rare brain cancer that occurs mostly in children. The survival rate for DIPG remains very low. At this time there is no cure for DIPG. The brain tumor teams at eight different places in the world have collaborated to try to find a cure and are testing exploratory treatments that might be able to delay the spread of the tumor, but will likely not cure it. Wyatt is being transported to Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN, likely this Friday Feb 15 to determine the appropriate approach for next steps.
The most important thing you can do to help right now is to show the Salmons family how much you love them. We opened this site so you may share your pictures, stories, fun memories, notes to Wyatt and his little brother, Cash, Veronica, Jason and their family and friends. What they want most is just to connect with those they love as we all figure out figure the next steps for Wyatt’s journey in life.
Wyatt has always been a fantastic kid! He is a happy, witty, creative boy who loves classic cars, four-wheel driving, hunting, going to Branson and enjoying time with his dogs, friends, and family. When he grows up he wants to be in the army, save money, then buy his own shop so he can build cars. If he doesn’t get to reach his grown-up years, as we fear may be our devastating reality, he requested for a car show to happen in his memory. Wyatt is such a brave kid. We hope you will join us in celebrating this amazing kid and make his hospital stays a little easier by sending him and his family special notes, pictures and comments whenever you think of them.
You are invited to Wyatt’s Warriors Cruise and Carnival event on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at Callaway Electric Cooperative from 11 am - 6 pm. See “BecauseWyatt”website for event details:https://becausewyatt.com/