It was July of 2011, we had just moved to Colorado Springs when both our kids became sick with what we thought was the flu. After two days everyone seemed to be better except for Colton, so we brought him into the Emergency Room to be checked out. The next 24 hours were a blur. Colton was flown to Colorado Children’s Hospital in Denver after he was found to be in kidney failure. When we arrived at the hospital, we learned Colton had a tumor in his abdomen that was preventing his kidneys from working properly. He was put on dialysis as his lab values were critically high. In the next few days, we learned that Colton had a form of cancer known as Neuroblastoma. We began treatment right away and over the next 11 months Colton would go through chemotherapy, multiple surgeries, a stem cell transplant and radiation.
On June 3rd, 2012 we were told that Colton’s scans showed no evidence of disease and he wouldn’t need further treatments. It was at this point that we decided to move back to Wisconsin to be closer to family and friends. We arrived back in July and began to settle back into normal life.
In early fall of 2012, Colton began to have some leg pain and we decided to travel down to Madison to have him checked out. Scans revealed that Colton had relapsed and the cancer that had been in his abdomen was now in his bones. Biopsies confirmed the diagnosis and we once again began chemotherapy. With few treatment options available to us we entered into a clinical trial being conducted at UW-Madison. Colton developed some complications and would once again be flown to Denver, this time for medications that were not available in Madison.
Colton would improve and once again return home to Wisconsin, hopeful that the trial would stop the spread of the disease. In August of 2013, we found that – although the areas that we had treated during trial were stable – new disease was spreading throughout his body. It was at this point that Colton created a bucket list. In the next month through the generosity of others, Colton was able to do many of the items on his list.
On September 3rd 2013, Colton was given his angel wings surrounded by family and friends. We carry on his drive to help others through the Foundation that bears his name.