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Shave for the Brave

A group of mothers finds its way through the tragedy of children lost to cancer. by Shelley Seale, photo by Candi Coated Photography Nine months was how long Janet Pollok waited for her son Luke to be born in 1999. Ten years later Janet spent another nine months helplessly watching a brain tumor take away her baby boy. In January 2009, Luke was diagnosed with a rare form of pediatric cancer called DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma), which is a malignant tumor inside the brain stem that only affects children. There is no cure, and no survival rate. When Janet and her husband Darren were told of his

UPDATE

tumor, they were also told at the same time that Luke would not survive it. “It’s something no parent ever wants to hear,” Janet says. “That your son has a cancerous brain tumor, and that they cannot operate on it. “I don’t think I could even breathe when the doctor uttered those words to us. I ran out of the room into the hall and cried like I have never cried before. Not my son, not cancer, and definitely not incurable!” The family spent the next nine months praying for a miracle, cheering the rebounds and never giving up hope that somehow, Luke would be able to fight this. “It brought me to my absolute knees seeing him so scared,” Janet wrote in an online journal.

“Luke has inspired me to do so much with my life.” One of the hardest moments for Janet came when Luke asked her the question she had been dreading: “Am I going to die, Mommy?” It all seemed unbearably real, and the fight grew harder, but Luke stayed amazingly positive. Shuttling between Santa Rosa and MD Anderson in Houston, more treatments and drugs were tried as Luke’s symptoms grew worse. On September 18 he was taken to Santa Rosa in an ambulance. “Something is different now,” Darren posted 10

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GivingCity Austin Summer 2011  

Featuring "The Guide to Great Fundraising Events" and "How Food Stamps Work" as well as stories about how to get involved and make a differe...

GivingCity Austin Summer 2011  

Featuring "The Guide to Great Fundraising Events" and "How Food Stamps Work" as well as stories about how to get involved and make a differe...

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