Granite Falls boy to have own dayBY PAM STEVENS | EDITOR Most of us can’t imagine our sweet, energetic and fun-loving toddler having to face a life-threatening illness and when you see the contagious smile of five-year-old Dylan Klepper, it is hard to imagine what he is going through.
“Dylan’s symptoms were very subtle at first. The first week he threw up randomly a few times, and we thought he had the stomach flu,” his mom Christina Klepper said. After several test and a diagnosis of acid reflux, Dylan started showing more symptoms.
“He became very lethargic and was napping at odd times and his head began to tilt to the left. His doctor ordered a CT scan in Everett. Shortly after the test was done, Dylan’s doctor called to tell us that Dylan had a “lesion” in his brain, and that we were to take him to the emergency room at Children’s immediately. (It was a total of five weeks from the initial time he threw up to this diagnosis.),” she said.
Klepper was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and has already had to have surgery to remove the tumor that was the size of a softball.
He now faces a year of weekly chemotherapy and daily radiation treatments.
“Dylan has handled the whole process with incredible strength and resilience. He is an amazing five-year-old boy. There are certainly things he doesn’t enjoy, like getting poked with needles, but he has taken each doctor’s visit, each test and each procedure in stride, making the whole process easier for all of us,” his mom said. “Dylan knew he did not feel well and near the end of the five weeks prior to getting to Children’s, and he would tell us, ‘I’m tired of being sick.’ The morning of his surgery, we showed Dylan pictures of the tumor in his head and explained that the doctors needed to remove it so that he could start feeling better again. His response was, ‘I’m ready to go.’ Although, after a short pause, he did ask, ‘How exactly are they going to get it out?’
Klepper’s strength has been an inspiration to all who know him.
“Dylan now tell us, ‘You have to be strong when you have cancer, because you have to fight cancer!’ This is true Dylan fashion,” Christina said.
Both of Klepper’s parents work for the Granite Falls School District. His dad Brandon is their Head Groundskeeper and his mom Christina teaches elementary school.
On Saturday, May 30 the Granite Falls community will be holding a Dylan’s Day Benefit with proceeds going towards uncovered medical expenses and a trip to Disneyland for Dylan and his family.
“We will go to Disneyland when Dylan is finished with all of his treatments. The Disneyland trip was presented to us as a gift from our community as part of the Dylan’s Day Benefit,” Christina said. “As you can see, we are surrounded by wonderful, caring and compassionate individuals. Each gesture of love, support and compassion is treasured by us. Having a child diagnosed with cancer is a terrifying experience.”
There will be a 5K Run, Walk or Jog, a barbeque and a silent auction. The event will be held at the Granite Falls School District’s Multi-Purpose Room, 405 N. Alder. The Walk, Run or Jog will begin and 10 a.m. with the barbeque and silent auction following the 5K.
For more information please contact Kim at 425-422-6614 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Jim at 425-238-8314 or email@example.com.
You can also give a monetary gift payable to Dylan’s Day Benefit, Key Bank, P.O. Box 49, Granite Falls, Wash. 98252.
You can also visit Dylan’s CaringBridge website to find out more about Dylan and his treatments at www.caringbridge.org/visit/dylanklepper.