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Adrian “Yan Yan” Max

Adrian “Yan Yan” Max’s journey started on January 19, 2021. He was diagnosed with a rare skull based tumor, clival chordoma at the age of 2 1/2. Rewind a month before diagnosis. He complained of neck pain and his parents noticed he had a stiff neck. Adrian just wanted to lie down all the time and got easily tired. He didn’t even want to go on the playground or have the energy level of a normal toddler. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a virtual visit to his pediatrician was the only option. His parents were told to monitor him for a month, but within 3 weeks after the virtual visit he could not move his left arm at all and had weakness in his left leg. In the ER, a CT scan showed a mass close to the brain stem. Doctors immediately ordered an MRI and Adrian was admitted to the PICU within hours. The tumor was compressing his spinal cord and eroded his upper cervical bone. Within a week of being in the PICU, he endured 2 tumor resections via the roof of the mouth and back of the head, cervical bone fusion, gastrostomy, and tracheostomy. Post-op he was quadriplegic and took 2 1/2 months of physical, occupational, and speech therapy re-learn how to move, walk, talk, and eat. Some parts of the tumor was inoperable due to the proximity to the brain stem, therefore another surgery was needed as it had a significant increase in size during post-op recovery. Currently Adrian is receiving chemotherapy in hope to shrink the tumor enough to leave more space for radiation without damaging the brain stem and avoiding more surgeries. ~ Abby, Adrian's mom
"A chordoma is a rare type of cancerous bone tumor that can occur at any part of the spine or in the skull. Most of these tumors are found in adults aged 40 to 70 years old. One example is a clival chordoma. Only 5% of clival chordomas are found in children."
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