In December of 2014, Noah Easterday was a normal, happy 17-month-old little boy until his parents noticed something wasn’t right. Suddenly, little Noah lost his appetite. Like most parents, his Mom and Dad initially thought was simply a phase he was going through.
Then other things started to happen. Noah started to scream frequently and became quite clumsy when he would walk. Something was wrong. Noah’s Mother tried to get him into his regular pediatrician right away, but the lack of available appointments caused her to head to the closest children’s hospital.
After examining Noah, doctors at the hospital diagnosed him with constipation. They gave Noah an enema and prescribed him Miralax. The next day Noah’s symptoms worsened. He was screaming more and moving very clumsy. He would fall a lot when he’d walk. Scared and concerned, Noah’s parents took him back to Akron children’s hospital in Boardman. Again, they said he was constipated, gave him another enema and sent the family home.
By the 3rd day Noah lost his ability to walk, he couldn’t even sit up on his own. His legs went limp. “At this point I was scared I knew something was wrong I didn’t believe them doctors. I had a mother’s intuition and I knew something wasn’t right, I knew it was more than just being constipated.”
In a state of panic the parents decided to try a different hospital. Doctor’s performed an x-ray and once again told the family that Noah was constipated. They advised the family to take Noah back to Akron children’s hospital because this hospital didn’t specialize in children.
“At that point we both were lost we didn’t know where to turn, we were ready to go to Akron. After four long days and nights at the hospitals I took him back to the hospital in Boardman and told them I wasn’t leaving until they told me what was really wrong with my child. I told them he can’t walk, he has diarrhea and he’s not constipated. He screams when I pick his legs up to wipe him when I change his diaper and I’m afraid it’s his spinal cord please help us, please!”
This is when the medical staff called the children’s hospital in Akron to see if they were able to do an MRI and that’s when Noah got transferred to Akron. Doctors ordered an MRI on Noah and found a 5cm mass on his adrenal gland, growing through his spinal column and suppressing his spinal cord. Finally, the sedation doctor that told the Easterdays what was going on. She told him they think Noah has cancer.
“Jeff and I were devastated I lost it. I just wanted to wake up from a horrible nightmare. We never thought it was cancer.”
Noah was transferred to ICU and immediately taken into surgery where surgeons removed the part of the tumor off of his spinal chord. They sent out part of the tumor to see if it was benign or malignant. “It was a long 3 days of tears and prayers not knowing if our baby has cancer or not.”
After three long days of waiting, Noah’s parents were told Noah has neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancer found in infants and children. Further testing found that the cancer was stage 4 high risk. The disease had spread. There were additional spots on Noah’s ribs, both of his femurs and on his vertebra, along with the primary tumor on his adrenal gland. This resulted in long month’s stay at Akron Children’s Hospital.
Noah’s treatment will include 6 chemotherapy treatments every 21days after the first day of the last treatment. He will have surgery to remove the primary tumor on his adrenal gland after the 5th chemotherapy treatment. He then will have a stem cell transplant after the chemo treatments are finished. And after all of that, Noah will undergo radiation treatment. Even through all this, Noah remains happy and brightens the world with his adorable smile.
Before Noah got sick, both of his parents were employed but the realities of caring for a child with cancer forced them to leave their jobs to be with Noah during this battle. The family is struggling between keeping the lights and being there to support Noah during this troubling time. It’s a struggle that we see all too often at the Max Cure Foundation, and it’s why we are going to work to help Noah and his family.
We were first introduced to Noah through a private message from his aunt on Facebook asking if we could get our prayer warriors active for him. We posted his picture and her message, which quickly grabbed the attention of over 4,000 people within a few hours. We knew at that moment our fans wanted to help and there was so much more we could do.
At this time, Max Cure does not have a Roar Beyond Barriers program in Ohio where Noah’s family lives and is currently being treated, so we reached out to our friends and long-time supporters, The Great Amazing Race who agreed to donate $1,000 to kick-start the program. This generous donation will not only allow us to adopt Noah, but two other families in the Ohio area as well. To continue funding the program The Great Amazing Race has volunteered to collect sneakers at their events and make Max Cure Foundation the beneficiary of their Cincinnati race on April 18, 2015 at Voice of America Park.
But now we need your help. You can help keep this program alive in the Ohio area by starting your own sneaker collection, or you can support Noah’s family directly by donating on their fundraiser page here.