Posted at: 03/10/2008 09:47:59 PM
Updated at: 03/20/2008 10:36:09 AM
By: Nicole Muehlhausen, Web Producer
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Infant survives rare brain cancer

One year ago, a little boy was diagnosed with a rare and deadly disease. The story of Connor Dykes, now 14-months-old, gives a new meaning to the word hope.

Connor was only two months old when he was diagnosed with a disease that is usually fatal for adults. Doctors said he had infant congenital gliobastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.

"It was so scary, there was a lot of praying and wishing and hoping," said Mindy Dykes, Connorís mother.

Those prayers, along with aggressive treatment, have given Connor a fighting chance.

"It's a wonderful story from beginning to end. We took a child who was literally at the door of death and now heís happy, thriving and growing," said Dr. Christopher Moertel with the University of Minnesota Children's Hopsital.

Doctors said Connor could handle higher doses of chemotherapy, because children are more resilient than adults.

He was one of the youngest patients to have his stem cells harvested to help in his recovery at the University of Minnesota.

"The strength he's had through his treatment, I wouldn't have 10 percent of," said David Dykes, Connorís father.

Connor has developmental challenges from the brain tumor and the treatment. He takes daily medicine for seizures and has become partially blind in one eye.

The treatment has also left Connor with significant hearing loss and he will need hearing aids. But his parents tell 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS thatís nothing.

"I can live with hearing aids, I can live with vision problems as long as he's with me every day," said David.

David and Mindy feel blessed Connor is doing so well, but know thereís a chance the tumor could come back. Connorís doctors said with each day that passes, the chance of the cancer coming back decreases.

Visit Connor's website