One of five St. Baldrick's Foundation 2012 Ambassador Kids
This is what Austin lost during his three-year battle with bilateral Wilms tumor: his entire right kidney; half of his left kidney; his hair, many times over; and countless hours, days, weeks, and months to hospital stays.
This is what Austin didn’t lose: his courage, energy, determination, sense of humor, or joy for life.
Diagnosed with cancer in both kidneys in July 2007 at ten months old, Austin, his family and their team of doctors walked a tightrope between trying to rid Austin’s body of cancer while preserving at least some kidney function.
After eight months of chemotherapy and four abdominal surgeries, Austin was declared cancer-free, with a functioning left kidney in March 2008. But by the following winter, his cancer had recurred.
“If you think it’s hard to hear ‘your child has cancer’ the first time,” his mother Krissy says, “it is immeasurably harder the second.” More chemo, more radiation, more surgeries…
More days and nights in the hospital, more risky procedures, more injections and medicines… More fear, more tears, more worry for the future. But Austin’s personality continued to shine through. Each in-patient day, he would wait (impatiently) for his nurse to “unhook” him from his IV pole so he could run speedy laps through the halls. His laughter, grace and resilience led his parents and big brother Braedan through an otherwise unbearable ordeal.
Now 11, Austin is an avid skier, fearless gymnast, dedicated baseball player and Knight of the Bald Table! Though he will one day need a kidney transplant, he is, at this moment, a healthy, happy and remarkably normal boy.
Please visit http://krissygallagher.wordpress.com for more of Austin's story.