Carson’s Story

Site created on June 2, 2011

Friends and Family,

Thank you for visiting Carsons website. Your cares, prayers and concern for him and us are greatly appreciated.

We will be updating Carsons progress on this website. We are so thankful for each of you who offer to help. We promise to ask if we think of something. Our number one request is prayer and petition God daily to completely heal Carson.  


Our love to you,

Todd, Darla, Emma, Riley, and Super C (Carson). :)

Carson LaDage is the 4 year old son of Todd and Darla LaDage. In April and May of 2011, Carson had difficulty walking straight, even walking with a limp at times, and his head was tilted to the left. In June, he began to stutter and we took him to our pediatrician. We were admitted to the hospital for testing and revealed a 1.5 inch by 2 inch tumor in his brainstem. Carson underwent surgery to remove as much as the tumor as possible on June 7th. Thanks to the many who prayed, he was able to go home without any serious side effects the doctors mentioned (feeding tube, tracheostomy tube, etc.) Carson had a mediport put in his chest June 24th with the plan to begin chemotherapy on July 8th.

We ask for your prayers for Carson. We ask for your prayers for the doctors and nurses treating Carson for wisdom. We ask for prayers for Todd and Darla; for guidence and wisdom and strength. We ask for prayers for his Emma and Riley and the entire family. Thank you soo much!

Newest Update

Journal entry by Darla LaDage

Dear Friends~ Over the past 11 years God has blessed us with the provision of living near a St. Jude affiliate so that when Carson was diagnosed we did not have to worry about one medical penny. This was significant considering I was not working and Todd LaDage was trying to get into anesthesia school. For the next four years Todd lived part of the time away from home, Carson and I lived in Memphis twice, and a village cared for our other kids, at times spending weeks with them while we were gone. In 2011 Carson went in for a 12-hour brain surgery that ended in only a biopsy. In 2011 he failed the chemo protocol best suited for his diagnosis. In 2012 he failed the second protocol as his tumor had continued growing for the whole year. In 2012 we moved to Memphis for 30 radiation treatments that he started the day after his 6th birthday...and in 2014 continued growth was confirmed. Shortly after in 2014 we moved back to Memphis for a clinical trial. I was told no less than 50 times he could be on it for 2 years but would likely grow immune to it before then...leaving us out of options. For the first 5 years there was never a calm time in treatment. I was always braced for the worst. I saw the worst constantly and attended a dozen funerals in 18 months. When treated in Peoria we were there 8 hours a day. We have been to Memphis upwards of 75 times. When we started the clinical trial we lived there, then went back to Memphis WEEKLY  (an 8-hour drive) then went monthly for OVER three years! When I think back to those days I think about how God sustained me. It did not always look pretty, but his Word gave me understanding and purpose and as 1 Cor. 15:57-58 says, when we labor in him it is never in vain. It doesn't mean it isn't in vain if the outcome is good. It means when we respond to the battle knowing it is already won because of Christ's complete work on the cross, regardless of how it transpires on earth, the eternal benefits are not in vain. I was desperate that my son's life not be in vain. For those first several years we did not expect him to survive...so it was not about survival. It was so much more. Those days were BRUTAL...for six years....every. single. day. And God sustained me so I could learn and grow and care for my other kids while doing treatment alone while Todd worked hard away at school to better our family's life. ( I commend his endurance because I could never have mentally handled what he had before him with Carson's medical condition looming.)

The other thing I think about when I remember those days and still think about is how we never ever saw a bill for one thing. Carson is a multi-million dollar kid. Literally. If we had to choose treatment or a home, we would have had to give up treatment because we could never have afforded treatment. One trip to Memphis is always over $5000 and that does not include is monthly meds that run....are you ready for this??? I'm not joking...$13000.00 per month! When I looked that number up just now it made me cry. We have raised nearly $150,000 for St. Jude and it is literally a scant drop in the bucket! It can't even touch his med cost for 10 months! 10 years of raising money and it can not pay for his chemo for 10 months. WOAH! I am beyond grateful God put us in a community that values what St. Jude does because you all have loved us SO well! This is our last year for the Lemonade Raid. I feel a little regret because I can never repay what they have done for us. Many hands make a HUGE difference though....would you consider a donation so the next family diagnosed can focus on everything except the worry of how to pay for treatment? In 2022 approximately 16,000 kids under 20 will be diagnosed with cancer. Could be someone you know. 

Our goal is also to give hope to those who are diagnosed and who do need treatment by putting scripture on the ground they walk on at St. Jude in Memphis. Each brick is a $5000 dollar donation. Every $5000 we raise will add another brick to the one we already have. Of every dollar, .82 cents goes directly to research. Friends! It is research that has helped them find specific treatments such as the one Carson is on! We were told he could be on the med for 2 years and he'd grow immune before then...but they didn't KNOW because it was new. He has been on it for almost 8 YEARS!! And while his tumor has been stable for 7 1/2 years, it is also HALF the size it was when he started the drug. I am so thankful for the intelligence God imparts to doctors and researchers! Carson's response to this medication is helping it become the first line of treatment to other families may avoid so much of the trauma we endured with so many failures for the first 3 years! 

Thank you to all who have given. You have helped our family remain a family of 5 for 11 extra years. There are no adequate words. Thank you to all who will give to the Lemonade Raid this one last year. And thank you to all who will continue to give beyond this event for years to come! We love you and are so grateful for you!
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Make your gift in honor of Carson by midnight on Dec. 7 to be counted!

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