West Michigan community unites six-year-old boy with brain tumor


BELMONT, Michigan – It only took a few moments for Hank Burzynski and his older sister, Charlotte, to settle into their new spaces.

“Our room looked so different,” Hank said.

“Excited,” Charlotte said. “It was very cool.

On Saturday, the siblings, who live in Belmont, returned home to a new bedroom and new e-learning space, all put together in one day by Shavahn Randle, a western interior designer. of Michigan which owns SE Interiors and is also Burzynski’s neighbor.

“Your environment helps your creativity, your productivity, your healing… even your mood,” Randle said. “I just really wanted something that would help.”

The bedroom makeover is just one of the latest ways the Burzynski community is rallying around them.

This summer, doctors diagnosed Hank with a pilocytic astrocytoma.

It is a brain tumor, often benign and slow growing, that develops in children.

Since her diagnosis, Hank’s mother, Kristy, says a GoFundMe and meal trains are examples of other ways the community has provided support.

“My fingers are crossed, our hopes are high and he has such a great outlook and such a great attitude,” said Kristy.

The prognosis for pilocytic astrocytoma is generally good, with cure rates of 90-95%. Surgery is necessary.

Hank has had two surgeries in the past six months, which have removed about 80% of the tumor.

“He lost part of his vision,” Kristy said. “The right side of the surgery on the left side caused him to lose a lot of movement, so at the moment it’s just a lot of rehabilitation.”

Kristy says that even though it’s difficult, support matters a lot.

“I like people so much more, I like people more,” Kristy said. “It makes me want to help others.

Kristy encourages others to help anyone, anytime, saying that now can make a difference.

“Even just kind words on a sad day they don’t know I’m like dying inside and so upset about my son then people come into your life and say hello, I want you to know that I think of you. Just those little things, it can really make an impact on you and seeing that other people care about you, and knowing that you are not alone in this case, I don’t know it makes such a difference and has us given such a positive attitude.