A boy's battle with an inoperable terminal brain tumor

Updated: May. 11, 2018 at 12:11 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Drake Quibodeaux was living life like a 7-year-old in Louisiana.

"On Mar. 11, Drake was driving a boat, running up and down the dock, being a normal kid," said mom Danielle Quibodeaux. "Within six hours he had had two seizures and lost every ability to walk, talk, and function. He was paralyzed completely on his right side."

His parents rushed him to a local hospital and when nothing turned up, he was airlifted to New Orleans where doctors found an answer.

"The doctor came into the room and diagnosed him with DIPG, which is Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma," said Quibodeaux, "It's a terminal brain tumor that's in the pons area of his brain which partly controls walking, talking, speech and swallowing...anything. It's inoperable because it spiderwebs the end of the brain. If they go in and even try to biopsy it, it can take out the heartbeat. It can take out his breathing."

Drake was eventually allowed to go home with a feeding tube, a wheelchair, and his parents watching his every move.

"As a mom, it's devastating," Quibodeaux said. "I mean, my son hunts, fishes ... he loves life and I'm with him all the time. He can't do none of them now."

Drake's tumor is extremely aggressive.

"There's a 1-percent survival rate. There is no cure. There is no known cause," Quibodeaux said, "It leaves the kids completely mentally intact while they lose every ability to do anything."

The Quibodeaux's believe they could be that 1 percent.

And while some days Drake can be a normal kid and other days he can't, his parents are fighting for a cure.

"These kids deserve so much more. I want to prevent another family from witnessing what we witness," says Quibodeaux.

In an effort to keep his spirits up, the Quibodeaux's started something for Drake called The Beads of Courage.

"This is every single day since March 11," Quibodeaux says. "My seven-year-old son has had over two hundred procedures, doctor's visits, and PO days. This is how it started"

Although doctors say this tumor is extremely rare, she's hoping by raising awareness, a cure can be found.

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