Parker Shaw: Strength, Faith, & Courage
Parker David Shaw was born on October 23rd, 2006 to first time parents, David and Crystal Shaw. The moment they held him in their arms, they were filled with a love they could have never imagined. Parker is the first of 3 children and is vivacious, active, and full of spunk and energy! He enjoys fishing with his dad & grandpa’s, riding bikes & skateboards, watching motocross, playing with his 2 sisters, Kennedy & Karsyn, and everything else any 7-year old boy would enjoy. Parker also loves learning & playing with his friends at Riverview Language Academy, where spanish is actually his first language!
He was taken to the hospital after having mild fevers and feeling pain in his hips & leg after falling from a rope swing. After being given standard blood & urine tests, Parker was immediately referred to imaging for x-rays. On Wednesday, April 10th, 2013, doctors found a tumor above his kidney in his adrenal glands. His family was in shock and completely devastated to hear that Parker was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma. Even worse, the cancer had spread to his bones. Despite the the awful statistics, Parker’s family made a pact to remain optimistic and strong in their faith. Together they embarked on the most challenging journey of their lives.
Parker started his treatment for Neuroblastoma at Rady’s Children’s Hospital in San Diego, California. Because of the advanced stages of his cancer, he was transferred to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, where the world’s top Neuroblastoma specialists reside. After 9 long months of long hospitals stays in San Diego & New York, surgeries, numerous treatments & medications, Parker was officially declared NED (No Evidence of Disease). Parker has endured more pain & suffering than anyone, let alone a child, should ever have to feel.
Although declared NED, he is not out of the woods just yet. Because Neuroblastoma is so aggressive and unpredictable in growth, Parker is currently undergoing several treatments to prevent relapse. Along with traditional protocols, he will continue traveling to New York City every six weeks for the next 2 years. He is now enrolled in an intense & sometimes painful, but promising clinical trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering under the care of Dr. Brian Kushner. When asked about Parker’s current NED status, the Shaw’s remain optimistic about his treatment plan & team of doctors. Dave & Crystal also encourage anyone else going through a similar experience, or just in the beginning stages of treatment to always seek a second opinion. Their advice is to “always stay strong in your faith…continue asking questions, searching for answers, and also learning about the disease.”
Parker continues to exhibit great strength, faith, and courage during his journey. He inspired first, a small community in San Diego, and now, thousands of people all over the world to embark on a crusade, not only to help children with cancer and their families, but also, to help educate and bring awareness about this ugly disease.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.