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Local 3-year-old diagnosed with rare brain cancer continues to fight for his life at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

A local three-year-old boy continues to fight for his life at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital after being diagnosed with a rare brain cancer.

We first introduced you to little Nathan Johnson in November, after he was diagnosed with an incredibly rare form of brain cancer: craniopharyngioma. Doctors said he had a tumor the size of a plum sitting on his pituitary gland — the gland responsible for the growth hormone and other vital functions.

GoFundMe has been started to help cover the boy's unexpected medical expenses.

Nathan quickly underwent surgery in San Diego. Doctors said they were confident that they got 99% of the tumor, but on the three-month follow-up visit, scans revealed there were two spots indicating the tumor was still there.

“The type of tumor that he has…it will always grow back if there are any pieces left," said Mandy Johnson, Nathan's mother.

“He’s so strong and so brave and so tough," Mandy said.

Looking for their next option, the Johnsons turned to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis to receive a special treatment called "Proton Radiation" to eliminate any remaining cancer cells. They’ve been there for months now

"He remembers everybody’s name…he’s always saying hello," Mandy said.

After a terrifying setback in October where Nathan went into cardiac distress, he finally began Proton Radiation. He’s gone through 21 treatments and has nine left.

"What are you looking forward to the most?” Madison asked Mandy. 

Mandy answered, "Just for him to have his life back and have a normal life like a normal kid."

Mandy says he never loses his positive attitude.

"I know he’s going to do great things one day. Like maybe he had to go through this so he could help somebody else one day. He can say you can do it because I did,” Mandy said.

His strong personality shining through.

Mandy said they are hopeful this round of treatment will be Nathan’s last, however, he will need special medication, therapy and growth hormone shots for the rest of his life. All of that will be incredibly expensive

If you’d like to contribute to help the family cover Nathan’s unexpected medical expenses and the future treatments the boy will need to recover, you can visit their GoFundMe HERE.

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Madison Weil

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