In October of 2004, Joshua Brenneman, age 4, was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare bone and/or soft tissue cancer. The tumor had invaded his c-6 neck vertebra, destroying much of the bone. Joshua endured 14 rounds of intense chemotherapy and 31 proton radiation treatments often making him too sick to even play video games. The tumor was inoperable. After treatment, in August 2005, we discovered the damage done to his little body due to the treatments. Josh had to be fed through a g-tube because the radiation had damaged his throat. He was also given a tracheotomy so he could breathe, because the radiation had damaged his airway. He also has hypothyroidism, because his thyroid was damaged. Joshua has been through 3 years of a procedure called an "esophageal dilation" (33 total) hoping to keep his throat open so he can eat by mouth. Currently, December ‘08, Joshua is able to eat by mouth and has not been dilated for 6 months! The next big step will be the removal of his trach tube, which was attempted in June ‘08, but was un-successful. After dilating his airway three times and performing a minor surgery, Josh's trach tube was removed on October 6th, 2008. Unfortunately, we discovered problems with his night breathing due to vocal cord damage. At this time, Josh still has a stoma (hole) and we are seeking more opinions. Josh is 3 years past treatment and his scans are cancer FREE.
Joshua is surrounded by a family who loves him dearly. He has four big sisters, a brother-in-law and a nephew due to be born soon! He is a social, cheerful, happy-go-lucky 8 year old boy who loves rock climbing, tennis, Legos, Wii games and his friends. We are continually thankful for Josh's life and the love and support we've been given since Josh was diagnosed with cancer.