The first annual Team Ezra event will be held Saturday, October 24, at 8 a.m. in downtown Hoschton. This year’s event is the Roar N Run 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run. This event is offering both in person and virtual options for runners and walkers to support Team Ezra.
Ezra King is a 4-year old Jackson County boy who was diagnosed with a brain tumor when he was just 18 months old. Funds raised will support his medical needs as well as a donation to the Pediatric Brain Tumor foundation to find a cure.
To signup or to make a donation visit https://runsignup.com/teamezra.
Ezra’s parents, Ramona and Travis King, share his story below:
It was a typical, lively Saturday morning in our home on the day that our lives changed forever. Ezra was 18 months old and had been in what we believed to be perfect health. He was as boisterous and fun as any other toddler. Midmorning he took a tumble and we found ourselves at the ER in Braselton with a possible wrist injury where they performed a head CT scan in an over abundance of caution. We never could have dreamed that we would hear the words, "The x-ray was fine but the CT scan was abnormal. We found a very large mass in your son's brain." This was what they call an "incidental finding."
We were rushed to the ED of Scottish Rite where they were waiting for us. By early evening we were admitted and in the days following, we learned that Ezra had an extremely large tumor pressing into his brain stem and growing upward into the area of his optic nerves and basal ganglia. He had extreme pressure and a loss of space for typical spinal fluid so we were scheduled for an extensive craniotomy and partial resection (brain surgery) as soon as possible.
When Ezra awoke after surgery, we learned that the operation and trauma to his brain stem had caused a loss of speech, paresis of his right side and a loss of right sided field of vision in both eyes. We spent several weeks in intensive rehab and have been in therapy ever since to help him regain functions.
At his follow-up MRI, they found that the remaining tumor had aggressively grown and we immediately started a chemotherapy clinical trial. Exactly two years (24 months exactly) later, Ezra is still on chemotherapy, having failed the 68 week clinical trial with continued tumor growth, and he is now on a new treatment plan that is currently holding the large, regrown tumor stable.
There is no proven cure for his tumor type and cellular mutation.
The last two years have been filled with joy-filled memories and a wonderful quality of life despite persistent tumor growth and treatment. His speech improves everyday and he is currently in intensive robotic therapy to regain use of his right extremities. We are told that he will continue to be partially blind and that it could grow worse.
We pray every day for a new drug to be developed that will shrink his brain tumor and put him on the cancer survivor list. As his tumor grows, he loses more functions and develops more issues. He teaches us everyday how to be strong, how to persevere and how to have fun doing it.