JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – A mother from Junction City was so moved by how St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital fought to save her little boy, she recently moved to Memphis to be a part of its mission.
“When they said it was cancer, my whole world flipped upside down,” said Katy Mortimer.
The young mother wasn’t prepared, when a CT scan showed why her 2-year-old son, Brady, was having headaches and eye pain.
“It revealed Brady had a tumor the size of a grapefruit,” said Mortimer.
Even after brain surgery, the toddler was only given a month to live, until he went to St. Jude. Doctors there gave Brady two rounds of chemotherapy, plus precious time with his family.
“They gave me four extra months with my son, and that might not sound like a lot for the average person, but it’s sure more than 30 days, and I’m forever grateful to have that time,” said Mortimer.
She is also grateful that Brady was happy at St. Jude, right to the end.
“He was just a ray of sunshine that would walk the halls of St. Jude and wave to everybody and say, ‘Hey, that’s my friend!'” recalled Mortimer, with a smile. “He was actually playing 12 hours before he passed away, out on the playground.”
That was in 2012, but every year since, Brady’s family has come back to St. Jude for a Day of Remembrance ceremony, when they meet other families who have lost loved ones.
Last year on Brady’s birthday, his family and some St. Jude staff members released balloons in his memory.
“Our child has not been forgotten,” said Mortimer. “He’ll never be forgotten so long as we have St. Jude by our side.”
Katy now works at the hospital, raising awareness and money for St. Jude.
She says she does miss Kansas, but feels good giving back to the doctors who never gave up on her son.