(thanks to NJ.com for much of this account)
After four surgeries in four years, the Lightner family is headed to Belgium to try an experimental treatment for their 13-year-old son, Glenn. Glenn is undergoing Tumor Vaccination treatment under the direction of Dr. Stefaan Van Gool at the University of Leuven. As of 4/12, Glenn has received his first tumor vaccination.
Glenn has been fighting anaplastic ependymoma grade three brain cancer since he was first diagnosed at the age of 8 in 2007. He has undergone several surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. He has received treatment in New York and at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee.
Despite the treatments, the cancer continued to return and grow.
Now, the family is pursuing new forms of treatment to fight the cancer and neighbors have set up a website to help alleviate some of the financial costs to the family.
“Thankfully I’ve got an amazing group of neighbors,” said Larry Lightner, Glenn’s father. “When it comes to that website, I’m just speechless. I’m not used to people rallying like this — it’s just amazing.”
Here’s Glenn at the University of Leuven with pioneering Dr. Van Gool.
The Rally in the Valley committee is overwhelmed and thankful beyond words for our community’s generosity in exceeding our published fundraising goal of $107,000. We acknowledge that it will likely be a few months before the Lightners know the total costs of Glenn’s treatments due to follow up tests, consultations and unanticipated procedures. We will meet with the Lightners to determine if additional funds are needed. Should there be any excess funds, they will be donated to support other local families whose lives have been adversely affected by illness, as per the guidelines of the Smile Forever Foundation.