CCLP/DAVID J. HARDIN - House Creek Elementary students hold up signs in support of Connor Hedge during the sendoff rally.Connor Hedge meets the Copperas Cove Bulldawg Mascot at the send-off rally for him on Monday


House Creek students send off one of their own
Cove Leader-Press
On Monday afternoon, House Creek Elementary students and staff stood outside holding signs to show support for five-year-old Connor Hedge.
Conner is a kindergarten student at House Creek who will be leaving for a while to get treatment for his cancer.
Connor was diagnosed with Stage IV neuroblastoma, a malignant brain tumor, in February 2012 when he was only 18 months old. He went through treatment and beat it. Then in 2014 he had a recurrence in his brain, had surgery followed by several rounds of radiation treatment.
Two weeks after the Hedge family moved to Central Texas last summer, Connor had a second relapse with the disease. During the second relapse, Connor was undergoing antibiotic and chemotherapy at the same time. His mother, Kristen, said the second relapse was a “bad one,” the treatment did help him significantly by reducing and shrinking many of the spots. The family was very confident after that treatment. Connor’s father is a major in the Army, stationed at Fort Hood.
A few weeks ago Connor’s scans showed the disease progressing again and now Connor has to return to Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth for more treatment. This ttime he has to have what is called MIBG therapy.
The family has had a lot of love and support throughout Conner’s treatment since 2012, and they are very grateful for all of the help they have received through donations and fundraisers that have helped them with the costs of the treatment.
“They have been beyond amazing.” Kristen said of House Creek principal Larea Gamble, staff and students, The school has held fundraisers in the past and have shown so much love for Connor.
The sendoff on Monday afternoon sendoff included students holding up signs with inspirational messages to include und the school in front of everyone. Students were holding up signs that read were “You Are Strong”, “You Are Brave”, “You Are Loved”, “Connor Power”, “There’s Strong And There’s Connor Strong.” The Copperas Cove Bulldawg cheerleaders were also there to cheer him on his way.
MIBG therapy, which Connor will receive while he is in the hospital, is an up-and-coming treatment for advanced-stage neuroblastoma. This type of childhood cancer is very difficult to treat, with close to two out of three children succumbing to their disease. MIBG is a molecule that is readily absorbed by neuroblastoma cells. By adding radioactive iodine to MIBG, this therapy can be delivered directly to the tumor, no matter where it is in the body. MIBG can be a safer therapy than traditional radiation therapy, as it delivers the radiation directly to the tumor and minimizes exposure to healthy tissues. Additionally, it can radiate metastatic tumors throughout the body in one treatment, which is much more difficult with traditional radiation therapy.
Connor will be receiving MIGB Therapy treatment while staying in a lead plated room, where he will receive one dose. For the first few days, Connor will be experiencing radioactive treatment. Recovery time will take several weeks.

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