SAINT PAUL, Minn -- A Ramsey boy battling a rare brain tumor is going national with his fight, telling the national talk show a new laser surgery treatment has drastically reduced his brain tumor growth.
Gavin Pierson, 8, appeared on "The Doctors" on June 16, telling his story of victory over a tumor once thought inoperable.
He nicknamed his rare teratoma brain tumor, "Joe Bully."
KARE 11 met the family two years ago as his family rallied for revolutionary treatments to fight the bully in their son's brain. The family was out of treatment options after five brain surgeries as the tumor continued to grow.
Gavin's parents, Steve and Nicole Pierson, won approval for an experimental drug from Pfizer, known as CDK, to stop the growth of the tumor and then helped Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota fund raise for a revolutionary new laser that uses heat and MRI imaging to kill the cancer cells in brain tumors once thought inoperable. The Visualase laser is minimally invasive and requires just a small incision.
Gavin's neurosurgeon, Dr. Joseph Petronio, of Children's Hospitals and Clinics, says Gavin will continue on CDK, but in the future will likely need this laser treatment. He says the laser also has potential to help other kids with tumors and possibly children with epilepsy.
"It's a remarkable story about parents who wouldn't give up, are not willing to accept the concept of an inoperable tumor and that's the exciting part for me," said Dr. Petronio. "That concept of inoperable tumors may be a thing of the past soon and that is really exciting, but this story is really about Gavin and his family. Because of that Gavin has not only benefitted but children across Minnesota and the region will benefit."
On the show, The Doctors hosts threw Gavin a "Beat Joe Bully" party, complete with a piñata and cake. Gavin entertained the audience with his humor and dancing.
"We just hoped we would get our son back and we did," said Nicole Pierson."It was like finally I felt I could see hisfuture, beyond next month, and next year, I could see a future. And that's amazing."
The laser can also be used for children with epilepsy. After several treatments, Gavin is well enough to play baseball this summer.
"He's…well…a small little bully," proclaimed Gavin.
Continue to follow Gavin's fight on CaringBridge here.