Owen

Owen was born on March 20, 2000 in Marietta, GA. He weighed 8lbs. 6 oz. and was perfect. We brought him home to meet big brother Grant and our lives could not have been any better. We knew right from the start that Owen was going to be a handful. On the night before his first birthday, he fell down and ended up in the emergency room with 3 stitches. He was a typical one-year old who made sure everyone knew he was the boss. He was so outgoing, loving and not afraid of anything. His favorite toys were trains. We had every train movie out and he watched them constantly. My house was always scattered with toy trains all over the floors.

On Fourth of July weekend 2002, I noticed Owen was walking a little off balance and he told me his head was hurting. With several trips to our pediatrician and a neurologist, our world changed in 7 days. On July 12, an MRI showed that Owen had a brain tumor. Three days later he underwent six hours of surgery. Seven days later, we learned it was a Medulloblastoma brain tumor. Owen underwent the typical protocol of chemotherapy and after 3 months our next MRI showed there was not a trace of the tumor to be found. He was a normal two-year old, playing, running and being the center of attention everywhere he went. You would have never known what he had been through the past three months. We were overjoyed.

Thanksgiving weekend 2002, that uneasy walk appeared again, and his eyes would start to squint, like when you look at the sun. Another MRI was done and in four weeks time the cancer was back in full force.

Owen left us to go to Heaven on December 31, 2002. After diagnosis, we only had 5 months to spend with our beautiful son. Owen's memory will last forever. The amount of people his short little life touched outweighs what most people try to accomplish in a lifetime.

I will always remember the night before Owen went to Heaven. Owen was sitting on the hospital bed, getting ready to go night-night. (The next day was going to be our second round of intense, high chemotherapy.) Owen was waving at me, telling me how much he loved me. He kept saying that over and over and waving.

My last vision of him will be the first vision I see when we see each other again. He will be running to me, waving and saying, "Hey mommy, I LOVE YOU!"

I will forever be grateful to the Brain Tumor Foundation for Children. The Brain Tumor Foundation for Children was there with me every step of the way. God bless you all.

Submitted by Christie Wheeler (Owie's Mama)