Skip to main content.

Meet Gus

Diagnosed with a brain tumor in July 2020

Favorite activity: moving dirt

Heroic attribute: inspiring resilience

Join Gus's challenge

Gus was a fun-loving two-year old with two older sisters and a baby brother. He loved playing with anything that goes - balls, cars, tractors. He was doing normal toddler things and he was developing his own personality. It was Easter weekend, April 2021, when our lives changed. We noticed that his eyes were doing strange things. Unlike many stories you will hear where doctors struggle to find the correct diagnosis - our story was the opposite. It was fast. So fast. 

Gus had a mass in his brain and quickly underwent surgery. Surgery was just the beginning of his journey. The mass was in fact cancer. We knew it would be a long road, but no one could tell us how long. As they learned more about the tumor, he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive brain cancer called Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor (AT/RT). 

The amount of treatments and procedures are too many to count. Over the next 10 months he would spend 197 nights in the hospital. Due to the location and damage from the tumor, he needed to have an internal shunt placed to help the fluid in his brain drain properly. Due to the harsh chemo, radiation and so many brain surgeries, he regressed in many areas of his development.

In May 2021, he began the first of five rounds of chemotherapy. We watched our little boy suffer through nausea, vomiting, mouth and intestinal sores, infections and extreme fatigue. To date, Gus has had five rounds of chemo, three stem cell transplants, 29 rounds of radiation and over a dozen surgeries. He is in therapy three to four days a week, working to regaining all that cancer took from him. Today, he still has difficulty walking, eating and talking.

Every day, cancer causes us to live with apprehension and anxiety but we are a faithful family. Our faith and this community gets us through one day at a time. I remember participating in Mini-THON as a high school student and never thought I would be on the receiving end of the support. Thank you for playing for kids like Gus!

Greta Bomgardner,
Four Diamonds mom