Pedal the Cause

I'm riding: PTC Road Classic

Saturday Start time:

Sunday Start time: 9:45 am

Team: Pooley Pedalers

ID: 191099

Lifetime total: $810.00

I am riding In Honor of Drew Patchin.


I am proud to ride in honor of Drew, my neighbor. Drew's Mom, Jennifer shares his story below -

At 6.5 years old, Drew was diagnosed with Grade 3 Anaplastic Ependymoma on Sept. 28, 2019 after 8 days of intense headaches and vomiting. He had an MRI at Mercy's ER and then the doctor came to "show us the MRI pictures" in a private room. That was her way of getting Mommy and Daddy away from Drew to tell us our lives were never going to be the same. "We found a tumor," she said and I remember screaming uncontrollably. A brain tumor? How on Earth could this be happening? She told us that Mercy was not where we needed to be and an ambulance was on its way to take Drew and I down to St. Louis Children's Hospital where we would be meeting right away with a neurosurgeon. We had to put on a brave face and go back in to tell Drew we would be going on an adventure in an ambulance! Once at Children's, we met with so many doctors and surgery was set for the following day, September 29th. The neurosurgeon was able to put in a drain on the top of Drew's head to drain the fluid that was unable to drain itself with the tumor in the way. Then the really hard part could happen. On September 30th and October 4th, Drew underwent 2 long surgeries to remove a 5 cm wide brain tumor. The surgeon called it a "large complicated tumor" and in total Drew spent over 29 hours sedated between those 3 operations that week. Recovering from that much brain trauma and anesthesia proved difficult, but Drew fought through it over 20 days in the hospital. By discharge day Drew was still not very steady on his feet and was still regaining strength, his voice (which had drastically changed and lost some sounds), his appetite, and endurance. Once he was recovered enough from the surgery, Drew began radiation on November 5th and finished it on December 18th. He was St. Louis Children's Hospital's youngest patient to be able to do radiation without sedation! He was very proud of that and it made the process much easier not needing sedation those 30 radiation treatments! Drew had PT, OT, Speech, and lots of follow up appointments in the coming months, but they were getting less and less frequent as time went on. By March, Drew was able to be back in school most days and things were normalizing some. Then comes a global pandemic and the world shut down. Basically Drew's whole first grade year was Cancer and then Covid. His appointments lessened even more and finally got to where he was only needing follow ups with the doctors and MRI scans to look for recurrences every 4 months. His life looked more like that of all the other 2nd graders at his school doing virtual and then hybrid schooling with a few doctor appointments every few months. At the beginning of 3rd grade, 4 days into school, he had a routine MRI scan. That night we got the dreaded phone call that his cancer was back. Another tumor, 95% chance it was the same cancer, which it did prove to be. Since it was found much smaller (peanut M&M size), the neurosurgeon was able to remove it in 1 long surgery (12 hours) on September 8, 2021. This time though, treatment protocol wasn't as cut and dry as the first time. Drew had already had all the radiation one should receive in their lifetime. St. Louis Children's Hospital consulted with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The radiation oncologist there believed Drew will have the best chance of cancer not returning if we do radiation again but acknowledged doing radiation was a huge risk, just doing it could cause enough brain damage to kill him. The local doctors weren't willing to do the radiation again with the risk, so we went to St. Jude from November 15-December 30, 2021. Drew finished treatments on Dec. 30th and has had clear scans since. It is possible that he will stay cancer free forever, but likely that won't be the case. Ependymoma are fast-growing with a high rate of recurrence. He will be unable to have radiation again and chemo isn't proven to help Ependymoma tumors. With Drew's future so uncertain, we try to make as many memories every chance we get while hoping every 3 months that we keep getting clear scans!

Please support my efforts by donating to my fundraiser and supporting families like Drew's. 100% of your donation will fund lifesaving cancer research at Siteman Cancer Center and Siteman Kids at St. Louis Children's Hospital.