FAIRFIELD, Ohio — The family of the Fairfield boy battling a rare, aggressive form of brain cancer is asking the community for their thoughts and prayers after he took what loved ones called a “turn for the worse” over the weekend.
On the Kyler Strong Facebook page, 10-year-old Kyler Bradley’s mother, Rebecca, posted four photos and an update on the boy’s condition:
Kyler is battling diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, commonly known as DIPG — the same form of cancer Lauren Hill battled, according to WCPO media partner, the Journal-News. The cancer has attacked Kyler’s brain stem, weakening his nervous system and putting him in a wheelchair.
Kyler recently lost the ability to breathe on his own, Rebecca said, prompting the need for a ventilator. Now, the boy is suffering from pneumonia, causing his heart rate to increase and his oxygen levels to drop, Rebecca said.
She told WCPO that last week they had seen a glimmer of hope: “Last week the report was that the tumor had actually shrunk, and we were hoping and anticipating that he would get back some function,” she said. “Only to turn around a couple days later and get news that it had gotten worse.
“It’s devastating,” she told WCPO.
Also last week, Kyler — who has said he wants to be a firefighter — got the chance to visit the Fairfield Fire Department, which has developed a close relationship with the Bradley family throughout Kyler’s battle with the cancer.
“We’re all saddened by the news that has gone out over Facebook,” said Fairfield Fire Department Chief Tim Thomas. “Of course we continue to support the family and pray for anything that we can for Kyler to pull through this.
“He’s a tough, little guy, and we’re hoping he’ll do just that.”
And community support for the boy extends well beyond the fire department: Students and teachers at Fairfield Intermediate School last fall wore “Kyler Strong” and did their hair in wild styles to support their student/classmate and raise awareness of the rare form of pediatric cancer.
Supporters also set up a GoFundMe page which generated more than $84,000 in less than a month. As of this report, that fundraiser had generated more than $106,000.
For now, Rebecca said they are waiting to see if Kyler responds to the antibiotics.
“We will see how things go,” she said. “If (he does not respond to the medication) we will have to make some very hard decisions.”