One night in October 2016, Joey Condon’s parents put a perfectly healthy 5-year-old boy to bed and woke up the next morning to the terrifying reality of a Tonic-clonic seizure. An ambulance rushed him to the Blank Children’s Hospital Emergency Department. What they were hoping was a one-time incident instead became a relatively frequent occurrence for Joey. Within weeks, Joey had had multiple ambulance trips to the emergency department. During one emergency department trip in November, Joey was admitted to Blank Children’s Hospital for a week of further testing.
“The doctors, nurses, and staff provided outstanding care to Joey and our family,” said Joey’s mom, Martha. “Unfortunately, the tests confirmed our darkest fears: Joey’s seizures were being caused by a brain tumor.”
Over the next few months, Joey endured multiple seizures, more tests and seemingly endless days in the hospital. Finally, Joey was diagnosed with a Pediatric Low-Grade Glioma (PLGG). His tumor is an incredibly rare type, which has required multiple neurosurgeries thus far. Joey also takes daily medications to keep seizures at bay. Despite treatment efforts, in mid-October 2017, doctors discovered Joey’s tumor is growing back quicker than expected; another surgery and other treatment may be in his near future.
Despite having experienced more in his six short years than many adults ever have to endure, Joey remains positive, strong and resilient. After Joey’s first brain surgery, he opened his eyes and uttered the words, “The force has awakened!” An avid Star Wars fan, Joey woke up and immediately provided a reminder that he was indeed a force to be reckoned with!
In the face of all he has endured, Joey is incredibly loving, smart, kind and hilarious. He lives life full of zest! Always ready with a smile, Joey remains positive and loves to spend time with his siblings and friends. His favorite activities include Nerf, video games, Beyblades and watching funny videos. Joey takes daily medications and is very aware of his diagnosis, but he doesn't let his medical needs slow him down.
“Parents of young children are often told to ‘enjoy every moment; they grow up fast,’” said Martha. “Joey's tumor has really opened our eyes and hearts to trying to do just that. While we don’t know what the future holds, we try to not let worries and fears overtake our lives. We have learned to prioritize our family time and have gratitude for the gifts of family and friends.”