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It is never a good day when we have to announce that we have a new Armer Kid. Meet Miles a 9-year-old with Pilomyxoid Astrocytoma which is a form of brain cancer.

Pilomyxoid astrocytoma is an uncommon and somewhat more aggressive variant of pilocytic astrocytoma.

    • Pilomyxoid astrocytomas are usually encountered in young children and infants, with a mean age of 10-18 months.
    • They account for approximately 2% of all childhood astrocytomas.

In February of last year, Miles was having what his parents thought were sinus headaches for a couple of weeks. They took him to the urgent care when they wouldn’t go away, and they couldn’t find anything out of the ordinary.  His mom Natasha listened to her gut to take Miles to the eye doctor. Within five minutes of being there, the optometrist told us to go directly to the emergency room because Miles’s optic nerves were very swollen.

Once arriving to the emergency room, Miles had multiple forms of imaging to confirm he had a brain tumor. This began his first 2-week hospital stay, during which time he had a craniotomy to remove some of the tumor that is on his pituitary gland. He had a second surgery there as well to place a VP shunt to drain spinal fluid. His shunt worked well for 6 months but failed. He had to come back to the hospital for a 3rd surgery and a week-long stay in September of 2023. There was hemorrhaging and Miles lost his short-term memory for a good month, but that thankfully has returned. 

Pathology on the tumor confirmed that Miles has a pilomyxoid astrocytoma. There is no cure, but he is currently under chemotreatment and has been for five months now. The first MRI after beginning treatment showed that his tumor was not growing, and the MRI he had this past week showed tumor shrinkage for the first time since this began! To say we are over the moon excited is an understatement!

Miles has been so brave during this whole journey. Never has it broken his spirit, and even in the times where he has gotten scared, he hasn’t lost his faith or upbeat outlook on life. Miles loves the time spent with his brothers, homeschooling, dancing, collecting coins, building LEGO, playing piano, and snuggling our chihuahua, Ariel.

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