Havyk was a happy and healthy toddler, but in March 2019, his mom noticed that he was regressing a bit and not meeting milestones. Havyk had started losing speech and motor skills, so she took him to the pediatrician, who referred them to a neurologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado. The neurologist who saw Havyk thought he might have had a stroke in utero and suggested an MRI to check for a stroke and see when it occurred. At this point, Havyk was experiencing paralysis on one side of his body (hemiplegia) and he was scheduled for an MRI in early July.

At the MRI, doctors immediately discovered a softball size tumor in Havyk’s right thalamus. He underwent surgery to remove the tumor just a few days later and started chemo in August. Havyk continued chemotherapy until December, but there was significant growth in his tumor, so he transitioned to a medication that targeted the specific mutation. The new medication has worked well, and the tumor is basically gone. There is still a portion of the cyst that remains, but Havyk is improving every day. Havyk will likely deal with partial paralysis, vision loss, and speech delay for some time. His next MRI will help determine if he continues receiving the medication.

Havyk’s mom says “This four-year-old warrior has never given up and is as tenacious as anyone could be. He is the strongest person I know. Havyk was put on this world to show people what the true meaning of raising havoc is.”