Hunter Gifford, of Rochester, is a funny, kind, energetic, seven year old and the youngest of three boys. On Nov 1, 2016 his family received the devastating news that Hunter had Ewing’s Sarcoma, a serious childhood cancer, and it was rapidly spreading in his tiny body.
Lisa (Hunter’s mom) said, “We were just in shock. We couldn’t believe this was happening to our family. Everyone always thinks this happens to other people, but now it was happening to us. And we already have a special needs child. There’s no way one family can have two major things to deal with.” Yet this was their reality.
Hunter has undergone countless tests, chest tubes, bone marrow biopsies, has had a feeding tube placed, chemotherapy, and is currently undergoing Proton Beam radiation. When driving past St Mary’s hospital you may have seen large cut out letters in his window saying “Pray for me”.
But the one rainbow in all of Hunter’s family’s chaos has been the support received from Brighter Tomorrows. In addition to attending the monthly family get-togethers and networking with other families facing childhood cancer, a highlight was attending the annual Family Winter Retreat. “We met some amazing, strong, courageous kids and equally courageous parents. We pray that we are a part of this special group for many years.”