Before The Big Grape Reserve was held on April 15, 2010 in downtown Sioux Falls at the Museum of Visual Materials, we met one of those families who have spent the last year in and out of hospitals in Sioux Falls and Rochester. We are happy to introduce you to an 8 year old boy from Sioux Falls battling brain cancer.
I wouldn't say Ian Keisacker has gotten used to all the poking and prodding he's endured in the last 14 months, but I would say this Star Wars Buff is fighting cancer like Darth Maul fights opponents.with the skill of a Jedi. In other words, this 8 year old is one tough little dude. It doesn't hurt that one of his favorite nurse's, Laurie Randall at Avera Children's Hospital, takes such good care of him while she's taking several tubes of blood for lab work.
Ian's Mom Nicole takes us back to February 5th, 2009 when his journey began.
Nicole says, "He had slipped on our wood floors horsing around and bumped his head. He cried and cried and later went to sleep and woke up screaming around 4:30 in the morning. He went unresponsive relatively quickly and we brought him immediately to the Avera McKennan ER. One of the new neurosurgeons just happened to be on that night, Dr. Hamid Abbasi, who is wonderful and he took care of Ian."
Ian says, "I don't remember too much."
It took a 7 hour surgery for a team of specialists at Avera McKennan to remove a brain tumor in the back of Ian's head near his brain stem that was the size of a golf ball. In the next year, the Keisackers would shuttle between here and Mayo where Ian had his chemo and radiation treatments.
Ian says, "I'm good now."
Ian's Dad Rob Keisacker Jr. says, "As you can see he is full of energy and he's getting back to normal, but doctors say in can take months to a year to get his weight, energy, and his sleeping patterns really back to normal. We just cherish everyday and we've glad he's here to work with everyday."
Nicole says, "It's been wonderful here. We've had great physicians. We couldn't ask for better staff. They communicate well. The staff is happy and energetic. It's just been great."
The Keisackers were believers before any of this happened, but they certainly credit the physicians and staff of Avera Children's with being the working hands of God in saving their son's life.
Ian and his family got back from Rochester with great news: all his scans were clean and his port was removed. So now he will go back to Mayo once every 3 months to make sure everything is still going great.