Rodney Kaufman Jr, or RJ “Tough Guy” as everyone calls him, is one of the many children I follow on Facebook. He is a little boy with neuroblastoma stage IV. It’s spreading and it is in his chest and neck now. He was diagnosed at nineteen months, and now he’s two years old. He has mere weeks to live. Tomorrow, his parents are taking him home on hospice care. RJ’s doctors are giving up, but I know God isn’t.
Do you want a glimpse of the life of a child with cancer? This is what little RJ has been through since his diagnosis: tumor biopsy, broviac placement, two bone marrow biopsies, stem cell collection, six cycles of chemotherapy, a ten-hour tumor resection, numerous MRIs, CT scans, MIBG , x-rays, broviac removal, central line placement and removal, and mediport placement. He has also had drain tubes placed for infections and a hole in his stomach after surgery. A second surgery 6 weeks later to fix the hole in his stomach, to take out his spleen, and clean out the infection, and biopsy the new tumor. All of this in just a 5 month time period. He has had many hospitalizations during all of his treatments and bumps throughout. He relapsed six weeks after surgery and had to get more chemotherapy and MIBG therapy. RJ’s cancer has developed a resistance to all treatments. These are the most heartbreaking cases, the ones where the only hope for healing is a release.
His parents are, understandably, struggling with their faith at this time. They keep asking why, and nobody can answer. Or at least, nobody here on earth. All people can do is say they’re sorry and hug their own children close. Because they know that it can happen to them. It can happen to anyone.
RJ has a Facebook community page. If you are a Facebook user and haven’t already, please like his page. Also, there are two Facebook events going on: “Tough Guy” out Facebook for RJ and Light A Candle for RJ “Tough Guy” Kaufman. Please join. His family needs any and all support during this extremely difficult time.
And where is God in all this? I believe Jamie Grace’s song “Not Alone” says it best…