Beating Brain Cancer Every Step of the Way

Casey Mowen

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Casey Mowen

Casey was featured in Redbook, Women's Day and Good Housekeeping magazines in February 2010. Read the article.

Dawn Landes felt helpless as her 11-year-old son Casey Mowen routinely threw up in the mornings. In four weeks, Casey lost over 13 pounds. Dawn took Casey to their family physician in search of some answers.

“Our doctor thought that Casey had a bad sinus infection, but to be safe suggested we go to The Children’s Medical Center of Dayton for more tests,” says Dawn.

“We arrived at Dayton Children’s on February 14, 2006 to have a CT scan done; I assured Casey’s school that he would be back after lunch. Little did we know our lives were about to drastically change," says Dawn.

“I waited for the test results anxiously. Evening came and I began to worry a little, but then the doctor came to me with the devastating news.”

The scan showed Casey had a baseball size tumor in the right frontal lobe of his brain. He needed to be stabilized and have immediate surgery.

“It was scariest night of my life. The doctor reassured me that he would treat Casey just like his own child. Even though I was overwhelmed with fear, I knew Casey was in the right hands.”

Laurence Kleiner, MD, the medical director of surgery at Dayton Children’s performed emergency brain surgery to save Casey’s life.  After a successful surgery, Casey needed to be seen by an oncologist so he could continue on the road to recovery.

Emmett Broxson, MD, met Casey and his parents to determine a treatment plan. Casey was diagnosed with stage IV brain cancer and Dr. Broxson explained the chemotherapy and radiation treatments to the family. Casey was ready to fight the cancer as he replied to Dr. Broxson, “I’m really ok with losing all of my hair. Now I will look just like my Dad.”

Dr. Broxson and Casey developed a close friendship as Casey went through treatment. “When I heard Dr. Broxson call Casey by his nickname, ‘Caseydoodle’, I knew we were at just the right hospital,” says Dawn.

Dr. Broxson nominated Casey to go to “The Hole in the Wall Gang” camp for children with chronic and terminal cancer.  This camp re-energized Casey to fight even harder.  Casey gives back to the community by volunteering at the Special Olympics, Special Wish Foundation and many other organizations.

According to Dawn, “Dayton Children’s is not only a hospital, it’s a family. When your child is a patient there, you become a part of their family.”

During treatment, Casey did not give up on the things most important to him - homework and soccer. At school, the annual state wide tests were taking place and even though Casey was incredibly sick from the chemo, he scored at the top of his class. His peers were so impressed with his strength. The soccer team asked Casey to be their assistant coach.

Casey is now 15 years old and plays base drum in Eaton High School’s marching band. Along with marching band, Casey is determined to play soccer again.

“With the traumatic experience that Casey has gone through, he now has a new outlook on life; he lives life to the fullest,” says Dawn.

“I’m studying hard and dream of being an oncologist someday like Dr. Broxson to help children like he has helped me,” says Casey.

Casey is the son of Dawn Landes and Dane Mowen.

The Comprehensive Care Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Dayton Children’s provides state-of-the-art services in oncology and hematology. For more information on our services, and to learn about our pediatric cancer treatment visit our Children's Care Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

 

 

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