May 28, 2008
By Julie Pearce
Dylan Dustin DeSanto is just a baby, but he is
already a veteran of brain surgery and ongoing medical treatments.
Baby Dylan was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of brain
Dustin and Laura DeSanto found out they were going
to have a child a year and a half after they got married. There
were no complications in the pregnancy, the delivery went smoothly,
and then everything changed when they discovered a bump on the back
of Dylan's head.
"In three weeks it had tripled in size from
the size of a marble to a little bit bigger than a golf ball,"
And then they got the news.
"The doctor just sat us down and said it
looks like a brain tumor, described it as an abnormality, and we
were just floored."
"I couldn't believe it at first. I think
I was in shock for a really long time."
"I'm like, this isn't long enough, I didn't
get enough time with him."
A CT scan confirmed their nightmare and Dylan
was rushed to surgery.
"It was hard. It took a long time to digest
what was actually going on."
"We were praying so hard that all these things
would go well."
Dylan was transferred to the Children's Hospital
in Minneapolis for a highly invasive five hour surgery that he barely
"One of the nurse practitioners came in and
said he was losing too much blood and he might not make it."
"Everything stops, time just stops."
For another two and a half hours, the family had
"It's just ... it's the worst, I don't even
know if I can put a name on it. It's depressing, it's sad, it's
scary, to a certain extent it's lonely, and it's just the worst
feeling of helplessness that you can endure."
"You go through every emotion a parent would
go through. You get sad, you think, why my child, you think this
only happens to other people."
Doctors transfused eight times the amount of blood
little Dylan had in his system.
"We prayed so hard, everyone kinda went around
together and we just kinda laid it all out there and asked God to
intervene and save our son."
Minutes later the chaplain returned with good
"And she said, all the sudden the blood loss
stopped and the count went up."
Just as Dylan began to recover, the emotional
rollercoaster took another turn for the family. Within three weeks,
the tumor was back.
"And it was half the side of his head and
it pushed his brain forward, so there was an injury in the back
part where the tumor was."
Doctors are now attacking the cancer with chemotherapy.
Dylan is struggling with seizures, trouble swallowing, fluid build
up on the brain, and vomiting.
But, this is not a battle Dylan has to fight alone.
He has an army of loving parents, grandparents and friends.
"He's ours, he's my son, he's Laura's son."
"I don't think until you have a child you
don't realize how much you love your children."
"You'll do anything for them."
And this family is doing just that.
They've spent the last six months in hospitals
where the bills have now reached close to a million dollars.
Despite what this family is going through their
faith has grown stronger.
"When you see miracles like that right in
front of your eyes you realize that God is real, and its very real
and he's with you the whole time."
Following prayers and chemotherapy the tumor has
reduced in size.
The DeSanto's are praying this latest round of
chemo will bring more news to celebrate.
"Count your blessings, you know, because
at least we still have him."
Donations to benefit Dylan Dustin DeSanto in his
battle against brain cancer can be sent to:
321 N. 43rd Ave. W.
Duluth, MN 55807