Kirkland resident Mason Gordon was diagnosed with brain cancer at age 7 in June 2012. Now 11 years old, Mason is the 2017 Sparrow at St. Monica School in Mercer Island.
St. Monica School has had a 15 year continuous partnership with the Sparrow Club, which pairs schools with children in substantial medical need. Year to date, students have raised over $11,000 with carnivals, candy sales, donations and directing their birthday money to the charity, according to an email from St. Monica.
“How children respond to the news of a loved one’s terminal diagnosis is often shaped by their social environment. At St. Monica School we model servant leadership, providing our students with the tools to navigate these difficult experiences, so that they grow in love and compassion,” according to the St. Monica website. “Sparrow Club is proof that you’re never too young to make a difference. As the nation’s only youth-based charity of its kind, Sparrow Clubs not only provide financial and emotional support for ill children and their families, but also empowers “kids to help kids” through charitable service to their communities.”
Mason has undergone three rounds of chemotherapy and proton radiation treatment, which his mother, Lindsey Gordon, called a “last resort.” In February, following seven weeks of proton radiation treatment and a month of recovery time, Mason was back in the sixth grade at Rose Hill Middle School.
He had his first post-treatment MRI on Feb. 13, and his brain tumor had shrunk 8 millimeters.
“He’s so excited to be back at school,” Lindsey said.
She said that the tumor will continue to get smaller over a long period of time, comparing the process to a slowly deflating balloon. Mason will continue to get MRIs on a quarterly basis, and his doctors will continue to monitor the hydrocephalus (fluid buildup around the brain) caused by his tumor, which is currently kept under control by shunts.
“He’s doing great; he hasn’t had a shunt malfunction since October,” Lindsey said.
The family has been updating a Facebook page, facebook.com/masongordonhope, throughout Mason’s battle with cancer, and they posted a video of Mason sharing the news of his shrunken tumor.
“I just wanted to tell you that my tumor has shrunk — woo hoo!” Mason said in the video, going on to share his excitement about returning to school after having to miss the fall semester.
Despite all of the treatments, surgeries and hospitalizations over the last few years, Mason manages to maintain an upbeat attitude.
“He is really positive,” Lindsey added. “He has a really kind of sassy personality.”
For more on Mason, visit tinyurl.com/y8y22ckz.