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Family of Olathe boy with cancer hears good news for the holidays

Diagnosed in April with a rare form of cancer, 7-year-old Noah Wilson of Olathe had a good reason to smile Tuesday. His cancer is in remission, and his family is thrilled.
Diagnosed in April with a rare form of cancer, 7-year-old Noah Wilson of Olathe had a good reason to smile Tuesday. His cancer is in remission, and his family is thrilled. The Kansas City Star

After a year marked by a cancer diagnosis, extensive testing and a collection of lengthy hospital stays, the family of an Olathe 7-year-old has finally received some good news.

Doctors at Kansas City’s Children’s Mercy Hospital recently told the family of Noah Wilson — who was diagnosed in April with an aggressive form of cancer known as Ewing’s sarcoma, news that kicked off a wave of support from across the country — that Noah was in remission.

“It’s a present that we couldn’t go out and buy — it’s something far beyond that,” said Noah’s father, Scott Wilson. “Knowing that he’s beating cancer is the best news ever.”

Word of the remission, which the family received a week before Christmas, concluded what has been a roller coaster year for the family.

Although uncertainty had dominated the family’s thoughts for much of the year, the family was also the beneficiary of support from those who stumbled upon Noah’s story.

An online movement to get the boy and his father to the World Series resulted in free family tickets to multiple games. Before one game at Kauffman Stadium, the family met with former Yankees manager Joe Torre, who posed for pictures and signed baseballs.

And the week before Christmas, Noah received a video message from Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, his favorite player.

“It’s been an emotional year,” Scott Wilson said.

Despite this month’s positive developments, however, the family is quick to point out that Noah isn’t out of the woods yet.

His chemotherapy treatments are scheduled to continue at least through April. And for the first year after treatment, Noah will be subject to testing every three months to ensure the cancer doesn’t return. Additional monitoring will be done for years to come.

The chances of surviving without relapse for kids suffering from Ewing’s sarcoma and lung mestasis, according to Children’s Mercy Hospital’s Erin Guest, is about 40 percent.

“The fact that he’s responded well is favorable,” said Guest, a professor of pediatric hematology and oncology at the hospital. “He’s got a chance that it might come back, but we’re hopeful that with the good response that he’s going to be fine. We’ll worry about it, we’ll watch for it, but hopefully we’ll never see it.”

Still, a cancer-free Christmas marked a much appreciated end to the year.

“We’re still on the journey,” Scott Wilson said. “But we got some great news and it’s great to know that the medicine’s working and the cancer’s gone.”

To reach Dugan Arnett, call 816-234-4039 or send email to darnett@kcstar.com.

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