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playground, when [Marty’s Sweet wife’s] 4-year-old son asked the
woman standing next to her, "Are you my mom?"
"[Son #4]," said [Marty’s Sweet wife], "I'm right here. Can't you
see me?" Pulling her son close, she laughed and tousled his hair.
But inside, she had an uneasy feeling.
An eye exam several days later proved her intuition was right.
[Son #4] was blind in his right eye and nearly blind in the other.
Further tests at Primary Children's Medical Center revealed that
his sudden vision loss was due to a tumor the size of a lemon
growing inside his head. "We'll need to do surgery immediately,"
the doctor said.
[Marty’s sweet wife] and her husband, Marty, were devastated. How
could somebody so young have a brain tumor?
"After the surgery, it didn't look as though [son #4] was going to
make it," recalls Marty. "And we were told that if he did come out
of it OK, he might have brain damage or be partially paralyzed. So
really, we were prepared for the worst."
But after a week in a coma, [son #4] pulled through. Surgeons
weren't able to remove all of the cancerous tissue, so further
operations were needed. Again, he defied the odds and recovered
without serious complications.
Next week, [Marty’s Family] will find out if [son #4’s] last
radiation treatment was successful. "There's nothing we can do now
except watch, wait and worry," says Marty. "[son #4’s] been so
brave — he's helped the rest of us get through this." Grateful
that their youngest son has made it this far, [Marty’s family]
wanted to share their story over a Free Lunch of Hawaiian pizza at
their Sandy home. Besides [son #4], they have three other boys:
[Son #1, #2, and #3].
"The boys are all close — this has been tough on them," says
[Marty’s sweet wife]. "But it's also made them grateful for the
little things in life. They know that hundreds of people are
praying for [son #4], even complete strangers."
For the past six years, Marty has written a humorous Internet blog
about raising a houseful of boys. When his readers learned about
[son #4’s] tumor, they began sending cards from around the world,
hoping for the best. Now that [son #4] has permanently lost hair
on half of his head because of radiation treatments, people are
mailing him hats.
The mail carrier is now [son #4’s] hero — he hopes to deliver mail
when he grows up if he doesn't become a brain surgeon instead.
"We love our brother — he makes friends wherever he goes," says
[son #1], who shares a room with [son #4]. "I'd have to say he's
my favorite brother."
As [son #4] beams and digs into his third slice of pizza, [son #2
and son #3] jostle [son #1] at the table. "No fair — I thought I
was your favorite," says [son #2]. "Mom! [son #1’s] playing
[Marty’s sweet wife] smiles and sighs. "See how it goes? I'm
outnumbered around here. Even the dog is male. But I can't imagine
life without any of them."
[Marty’s sweet wife] gets teary-eyed when she recalls the cards
and casseroles that arrived from neighbors and strangers during
[son #4’s] numerous hospital stays.
"My boys have learned that the world is a small place — that
people are generally kind and caring," says [Marty’s sweet wife].
She points to son #3’s arm, wrapped in a cast after he broke it
before Christmas. "Before this happened with [son #4], I would
have freaked out. But now, we're much calmer. We try to see the
positive side in everything."
For [son #4], that means ordering cheesecake from room service
whenever he's in the hospital. And he'll soon be granted a wish
from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. His brothers are leaning on him
for a Disney World vacation, but [son #4] has ideas of his own. "I
want a remote-control car," he says simply.