Saturday, January 10, 2009



April Shepherd, has a 4 year old little boy, Hayden Nicholas McQueen, who has an aggressive form of brain cancer, an astrocytoma, which he has had since birth. It wasn't until he was a few months old when local doctors mistakenly diagnosed him as a "failure to thrive" child. As the weeks passed, Hayden was not eating, growing, or gaining any weight.

After extensive testing, doctors and oncologists at UK Children's Hospital discovered that Hayden had an inoperable brain tumor behind his eyes. The tumor, which has star-like tentacles, had grown so large that it was pressing against Hayden's eyes causing them to jerk uncontrollably to the left and to the right (like a bobble head doll).

The doctors and oncologists advised April from the beginning that Hayden would be a lucky little boy if he reached the age of 3 years old. In all likelihood, he would die before his 3rd birthday.

They began an aggressive regimen of chemotherapy and put in a feeding tube.

After 2 1/2 years of month after month of chemotherapy and countless prayers, the doctors finally found a type of chemotherapy which did not cure Hayden, however, it stopped the growth of the tumor and it had begun to shrink somewhat.

With the faithful prayers of our friends and family members, Hayden surpassed all odds and reached his 4th birthday. In celebration, the Make A Wish Foundation gave Hayden the choice of an all expense paid vacation for Hayden and his family to Disneyland in Florida or a shopping spree at Wal-Mart.

Before Hayden made his decision, he asked the Make A Wish Foundation rep, Bill, if he could buy his little brother, Trevor, a Spiderman big wheel. The rep told Hayden "anything you want little man." Hayden replied, "well, then, Bill, I want to go to Mal-Mart."

During their shopping trip, for every item that Hayden bought, he bought his little brother, Trevor, one just like it. Even through the countless chemotherapy treatments, Hayden was always smiling, cheerful, and inquisitive. He soaked up information around him. Hayden is very special to me because his mom, April, lived with me, Michael, and Ashley, for 2 years.

Ashley considers April her big sister and Hayden her "adopted" nephew. As we are prone to doing, when things seem like they are at their greatest, old Satan swoops back in and kicks us in our backsides to remind us that he is ever present.

Last week, April took Hayden back to UK Children's Hospital for his 6 month checkup and an MRI. Yesterday, she received the devastating news that the astrocytoma has begun growing again at an alarming rate. However, this round, Hayden, this little, precious, 4 year old boy, will have to endure adult strength chemotherapy.


Please pass this on to everyone you know who has faith and believes that through Christ all things are possible. I believe with the help and prayers of our spirit filled people that Hayden can and will be healed.

May God bless and keep you, and please "PUSH" PRAY UNTIL SOMETHING HAPPENS

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