MOODY – It is a miracle that is taking place right here in St. Clair County and it involves a 6-year-old boy named Blaze Powell.
Powell is the son of Josh and Laurie Powell of Moody.
The miracle is how Blaze is beating prostate cancer. Another side of the miracle is how the Moody Lions Club is helping this family financially with medical expenses.
Below is Blaze’s story as told by his mother.
At the end of March 2018, Blaze was diagnosed with Undifferentiated Sarcoma on his prostate. After several months of testing, scans, labs and a biopsy, it was determined that his tumor was a “hybrid” cancer containing positive markers for several different tumors.
The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., has biopsies sent to them from all over the world, and they have never seen a tumor like Blaze’s. The pediatric oncology group at Children’s Hospital of Alabama started a generic chemotherapy regimen that consisted of two different types of medications, along with radiation at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
After the first couple of rounds, the tumor stopped shrinking. Doctors decided surgery would be necessary.
We had been told that Blaze would need his bladder, prostate, urethra and rectum removed because the tumor was originally 5 inches x 2.5 inches.
We were not comfortable with the decision to remove all his organs, so we started calling around for second opinions. Luckily, we were put in contact with Dr. Patricio Gargollo at The Mayo Clinic, through another parent who also had a son with prostate cancer.
After doing a second opinion over the phone, he told us that he could save some of Blaze’s organs, if not all of them. In September, Blaze and Josh went to Minnesota to meet Dr. G. and to start proton radiation 10 days prior to his surgery on Oct. 2. They were able to save his bladder, rectum and urethra, only having to remove his prostate and obturator nerve. Removing the obturator nerve has caused some severe pain in his right leg and he has difficulty walking but with about a year of physical therapy, he should be able to run and play like normal.
This past Monday, the Moody Lions Club presented the Powell family a $2,400 check to help out with medical expenses.
Vince Eiser co-chairs fundraiser efforts for the Moody Lions Club. Eiser said it was important to help Blaze and his family during this time.
“His parents have not been able to work due to taking him out-of-state for medical treatments,” Eiser said. “Being a 6-year-old child and having this problem is terrible enough. May God be with him and his family.”
Mrs. Powell thanked people of St. Clair County and the people of Moody for all their support through Blaze’s fight.
“We have witnessed true miracles in healing and have felt all the love and prayers that have been sent our way,” she said. “We are truly grateful to live in a small town where our neighbors are like friends and our friends are our family.”
Laurie Powell said Blaze has touched so many lives in his short six years on Earth.
“We are so blessed and fortunate to be able to watch him grow to touch many more lives,” she said. “This has not been easy, but it has shown us what love and prayer can accomplish. We thank everyone who has reached out in so many ways throughout our journey. This is far from over, but the road is so much brighter thanks to all of you.”
Blaze was all smiles Monday as he recited the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag, as he drew the name out of the box who won the shotgun raffle, as he proudly told people he was a kindergarten student at Moody Elementary School, as he said was a huge Auburn football fan, as he hollered War Eagle when he got his picture made, and as pleased he was to receive a toy from the Moody Lions Club.
Reach Gary Hanner at email@example.com.