Helping Hand: Battling Beau's brain tumor
SARASOTA - When Beau Christensen took to spring football practice in April all seemed well. Until the Rams’ linebacker starting complaining of being fatigued and having excruciating headaches.
"We ended up sending him straight to the emergency room that night. He was diagnosed with a large brain tumor and they did a resection," says Beau's dad Stu Christensen.
University of Florida Shand’s Hospital neurosurgeon Dr. Jason Blatt performed the 10 hour surgery to successfully remove the teen’s brain tumor.
"Beau spent 11 days in the pediatric ICU and ended up being released. He had two major surgeries and he is now on the track to fighting cancer and fighting the tumor," says Christensen.
Beau’s football coaches decided to get on a different type of track to fight alongside with Beau, initiating a Go Fund Me as they prep for a grueling run.
"It's 46 miles, it’s called the Pinellas Trial Challenge. It’s definitely going to be a difficult task, but like I said, Beau everyday is fighting," says Coach Brian Vogler.
This marathon of hope, Running for Beau, is also raising funds for the University of Florida’s Research Department to develop a vaccine from a portion of Beau’s original tumor. He will then receive specialized injections of the vaccine to fight off future tumors.
“What’s cool about this is you guys are not looking for something directly to Beau, you’re actually looking for something much bigger," says Carl Reynolds with Carl Reynolds Law.
Julys’ $1000 'Helping Hand' on behalf of Carl Reynold’s Law is being donated to UF’s research in developing advanced personalized immunotherapy treatments for brain cancer.
“He’s been benefitted from that and he wants to pay it forward and make sure that everybody can benefit," says Reynolds.
As Beau’s coaches push through training, support flows from the football field and beyond. Beau’s set to continue treatment over the next 10 months.