ORCHARD PARK, NY (WIVB) – Carson Barnhart was diagnosed with brain cancer in July 2018. “I just never thought it would be a tumor, he’s a five month old baby. But it was, ”said Carson’s mother Kelly Barnhart.
Just two days later, he underwent surgery to remove the tumor.
“They took the whole tumor out, it was gone, but his oncologist told us if we didn’t get treatment, it would come back.”
Carson received chemotherapy for a year through Oishei Children’s Hospital and Roswell. His mother added, “he’s just an incredible warrior, it’s just incredible.”
He has now been in remission since 2019 and gets scans every four months.
“He has some shortcomings in his treatment, where the tumor was and some things that he will struggle with, with his life, but he’s happy, he’s healthy and he’s here,” Kelly said.
Carson recently celebrated a huge milestone: his third birthday.
His mother said, “I am grateful for that every day. He’s smart, stupidly funny, everything a three year old should be and he doesn’t know what he’s been through, which is also a unique part of this experience. He has no idea. ”
To help him understand, his aunt, who is also a nurse, wrote a book about his journey one day. Looking back puts things in perspective for the whole family. “I am definitely a different person than I was three years ago. I get more emotional, I mean not only Carson’s story, but life in general. It changed me on this journey, ”added Kelly.
So now Kelly is advocating for others to make the same diagnosis.
“I want to give back and do everything I can to raise awareness and let people know that this is happening. It’s not rare – kids get sick and earn more money. ”
And she hopes that sharing Carson’s story will give others hope.
“I look at Carson and tell him he’s going through this. I’m going to go through this and choose hope. ”
Gabrielle Mediak is a reporter who has been on the News 4 team since 2019. Check out more of her work here.