Kingston: Just Keep Swimming
While the majority of us may look at the average shark with fear, Kingston looks at sharks with admiration. It’s their ability to “just keep moving” that inspires him. The ocean sometimes seems like such a vast place, containing so much uncertainty, but that’s why sharks are so appealing, right? They just swim right through it.
It was just before his fourth birthday when Kingston’s family received earth-shaking news in the form of a single word, medulloblastoma. His symptoms started in 2018 when he would scream due to severe pain in his legs. After the diagnosis, it was discovered that Kingston had a tumor the size of a golf ball in his brain and a mass on his tailbone. He was taken to the local children’s hospital for surgery, treatment, and therapies. His road was not without challenges. It wasn’t until three days following the surgery that Kingston woke up. Upon waking up, Kingston was unable to communicate with his doctors and family due to Posterior Fossa Syndrome, a condition that occurs in some children following surgery for a brain tumor and affects speech and language, motor skills and mood.
Being quarantined all of 2020 left many people feeling lonely, bored, vulnerable, and itching to connect and have adventures. But being in quarantine was no new feat for Kingston. At just four years old, he spent every single day in the hospital and did not see his home once from July 2018 to February 2019. During those eight months, Kingston underwent five rounds of chemo and his parents were informed he had a 10% survival rate. Although he missed home, his best friend and sister Zuma never left his side and was always there to help him “just keep moving” even when it felt impossible, just like a shark. With her support and positive energy, and the help of his treatment staff and care team, Kingston’s autologous transplant was successful and he is now three years in remission.
The boy who at four years old was unable to walk is now able to move about 10 steps at a time thanks to rehab. Although Kingston uses a walker, do not be fooled! His passion and dedication to sports gave him the drive to fight his battle and perfect his skills. You know he means business when he’s successfully making 3-pointers while laying down (Check it out here YouTube Video). But it’s not just basketball, Kingston loves all sports, especially soccer and football. Not to brag, but he even played a game or two of baseball with Justin Turner from the L.A. Dodgers. And if being a determined athlete wasn’t enough, Kingston is now back at school and beginning surf and rock climbing lessons. He is a boy of many talents.
Before Kingston was able to be a kid, he had to face some pretty grown-up challenges and a world of uncertainty. But just like athletes and sharks, he kept moving.
About the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation
Every day, 13 children and teens are diagnosed with a brain tumor, the deadliest and most common form of cancer in kids under 15. Every day after, they are in a fight for their life. It’s a fight the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation is here to help families win. A leader in the brain tumor and childhood cancer communities, PBTF’s mission of Care. Cure. Thrive. reflects its commitment to curing all pediatric brain tumors and transforming how children and their families are cared for. Since 1991, PBTF has provided strategic leadership and funding to accelerate the number of targeted therapies for children battling brain tumors today, while equipping families with the patient family education, financial relief, and emotional support they need to navigate their child’s journey. A world without childhood brain tumors is possible when we stand together to effect real, meaningful change. Learn more at www.curethekids.org.