Make-A-Wish grants wish of Brandon teen fighting rare brain canc - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Make-A-Wish grants wish of Brandon teen fighting rare brain cancer

A Brandon teen fighting a terminal illness will be going on a Caribbean cruise, thanks to Make-A Wish. Source: WLBT A Brandon teen fighting a terminal illness will be going on a Caribbean cruise, thanks to Make-A Wish. Source: WLBT
A Brandon teen fighting a terminal illness will be going on a Caribbean cruise, thanks to Make-A Wish. Source: WLBT A Brandon teen fighting a terminal illness will be going on a Caribbean cruise, thanks to Make-A Wish. Source: WLBT
A Brandon teen fighting a terminal illness will be going on a Caribbean cruise, thanks to Make-A Wish. Source: WLBT A Brandon teen fighting a terminal illness will be going on a Caribbean cruise, thanks to Make-A Wish. Source: WLBT
BRANDON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A Brandon teen fighting a terminal illness will be going on a Caribbean cruise, thanks to Make-A Wish.

17-year-old Ian Cochran is fighting a rare form of brain cancer.

Mac Haik Flowood started a fundraising effort for Ian to go on the cruise and began donating $50 for every new vehicle that was sold until they met their $6,500 goal.

A large crowd, along with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, surprised Ian, and his parents, Kim and Joel Cochran at the dealership and told him he was going on the cruise.

“As we drove up, he was just playing on his phone and I said Ian, I think something is going on there in front of us,” Joel said. “They spelled out your wish has been granted, you’re going on a Disney cruise. As we pulled up and he saw the crowd here for him, he had a smile on his face. Which is really a good thing because due to the cancer in his brain, he doesn’t really have the ability to show facial emotions. So him having a smile on his face when we pulled up made us feel really good.”

After the cheerful surprise on Friday, the family recalled the start of Ian’s journey.

The Cochran’s said Ian started experiencing frequent migraines, and in some cases nausea as well, in late 2017.

They said Ian had a seizure in January and that’s when they knew what he was experiencing was much more than just a migraine.

“He was out with some friends and basically blanked out,” Joel said. “It’s not the kind of seizure that you just convulse, he just went blank for a few seconds and then was nauseated and had a headache. We took him to the doctor and we started noticing slurring of speech, the doctor wanted to get an MRI but what ended up happening was what he has locally, is so rare. We know that there was an abnormal MRI but none of the doctors knew what was going on.”

The Cochran’s said Ian went through nearly two months of testing before a doctor at University of Mississippi Medical Center began to narrow down what he thought Ian had and did a biopsy.

The family then went to LeBonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where doctors diagnosed Ian with gliomatosis cerebri, a rare brain cancer that allows cancer cells to grow throughout the brain, rather than in a mass.

Ian then began his treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

“He just underwent six weeks of whole brain radiation therapy where the whole purpose with that is to go ahead and prevent the cancer from continuing to spread in his brain,” Joel said. “It was already in all parts of his brain, but it seems the radiation therapy has been beneficial and there has been some improvement from that and then we go back at the end of May to start a targeted therapy. The goal is to prevent it from coming back, as long as possible.”

Since his diagnosis, the community has stepped up to support the Cochran’s through this journey.

WATCH: Friend and classmate speaks on teen's cancer diagnosis 

“I know the pastor of Brandon Baptist Church has been to up to Memphis at least once, sometimes twice a week since we’ve been there,” Joel said. “Brandon High School and the school counselors there have worked with Ian so that he’ll be able to graduate high school. That’s one of his wishes, in addition to Make-A-Wish, was to graduate high school so Brandon High School is making that happen.”

The support doesn’t end at school and church, Ian’s mother, Kim said they’ve even gotten support from complete strangers.

“People that we don’t even know just calling, texting, letters,” Kim said. “When you’re walking through this path, you don’t realize how strangers and people that you don’t know just come out to tell you we’re thinking about you. We don’t know what you feel, but we’re thinking about you and that’s overwhelming.”

There is not a cure for this form of brain cancer but the Cochran’s say there different therapies and treatment options available to try to keep it from spreading. 

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