Dandridge community rallies behind boy with brain tumor

Dandridge community rallies behind boy with brain tumor

Posted:
Doctors recently discovered that the second brain tumor that doctors tried to remove last year has regrown in the brain of 9-year-old Wyatt Crippen. His parents say it will be a long battle. Doctors recently discovered that the second brain tumor that doctors tried to remove last year has regrown in the brain of 9-year-old Wyatt Crippen. His parents say it will be a long battle.
Wyatt says he often he feels dizzy, nauseous and weak. The 9-year-old deals with a constant pain on the side of his head. Wyatt says he often he feels dizzy, nauseous and weak. The 9-year-old deals with a constant pain on the side of his head.
A Facebook group called "Warriors for Wyatt" was launched a few days ago, receiving support from people all across the world. A Facebook group called "Warriors for Wyatt" was launched a few days ago, receiving support from people all across the world.
"If it close to a brain stem, they can't do surgery. Then we'd have to do chemo or radiation," said David Crippen. "If it close to a brain stem, they can't do surgery. Then we'd have to do chemo or radiation," said David Crippen.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

DANDRIDGE (WATE) - The Dandridge community is rallying behind a young boy who will undergo his third brain surgery next month.

Doctors recently discovered that the second brain tumor that doctors tried to remove last year has regrown in the brain of 9-year-old Wyatt Crippen.

His parents say it will be a long battle.

This Christmas was the first Wyatt Crippen spent at his Dandridge home in three years. During the past two years, he spent the holiday recovering from two different brain surgeries.

Wyatt is scheduled for a third brain surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville on Jan. 22, 2014.

Wyatt says he often he feels dizzy, nauseous and weak. The 9-year-old deals with a constant pain on the side of his head.

"It's like a backache, but a little bit worse," the boy described.

Wyatt has endured 49 different MRIs of his brain and countless doctor's visits. Wyatt's parents David and Kristi thought he was starting to recover, but another MRI revealed a second brain tumor thought to be removed last year started to grow back.

The parents fear even with surgery, the tumor could continue to grow close to the brain stem.

"If it gets so close to that brain stem, they can't do surgery. Then we're looking at chemo or radiation," said David Crippen.

This recent development has been met with continued support from the Dandridge community, including Pastor Bob Brown at First Baptist Church, which the Crippens attend.

Church and community members helped in the past with medical expenses for Wyatt's first brain surgery in 2011.

"We have a couple of our ministers on staff that live in the same neighborhood, so they stay in contact with the Crippens quite a bit. People have rallied around them, they're always supporting," said Pastor Brown.

A Facebook group called "Warriors for Wyatt" was launched a few days ago, receiving support from people all across the world.

"I believe our turnout is going to be good, especially with all these warriors we got," said David Crippen.

Wyatt's parents say the "warrior" name is fitting.

"He made through a lot of it that most people couldn't have made it through," said Wyatt's father.

Wyatt says he isn't afraid of what will happen next.

David and Kristi Crippen say because Wyatt needs constant care, they've suffered lost wages and money to pay for travel expenses, and another $100,000 in medical costs they'll owe that insurance won't cover.

A "Warriors for Wyatt" fundraiser website was also launched Tuesday which includes information on how to help the family.

The Crippens will seek a second opinion next week at the Brain Tumor National Institute at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

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