CHAPIN, SC (WIS) - Back in 2015, Landon Derrick was diagnosed with a brain stem glioma.
The young Chapin boy had back-to-back surgeries to have the tumor removed. However, he suffered damage to his cranial nerves and his body because of the turmor. Because of this, Landon has been in and out of hospitals since the surgery. This week, Landon Derrick may have possibly had one of the best birthday celebrations a 10-year-old could have.
On Monday, Landon and his family got the chance to ride in a jeep, which is his favorite vehicle. He also met Sheriff Leon Lott and the Richland County K-9 team.
During his visit with deputies, Landon learned how to handcuff and played fetch with the K-9 officers. Landon even got a hat from Sheriff Lott.
“It was just amazing to see the enthusiasm and joy to see the animals as well as getting to interact with their handlers in several activities while there," said Landon’s Hope Executive Director Don Sangster.
On Tuesday, Landon’s celebration continued as friends, family, and Jeep enthusiasts came together to commemorate his 10th birthday.
“It put a smile on many faces this evening to see this little boy enjoying the evening with people that love and care about him to the moon and back many times over,” Sangster said. “He is a true inspiration to anyone that crosses paths with him and gets to know him and his story. He is a trooper. He is one that doesn’t say, ‘I can’t do that.’ He fights and keeps going and going and going.
“Even when he is not feeling well or even when he is sick, he keeps going and going. He has more will power and determination to keep going than in most adults I have experienced in my life. He lights up a room where ever he goes. His presence lifts everyone even on their worst day. He is a fighter.”
This year is the first year Landon’s Hope Foundation. They will hold a fundraiser to help with medical costs in June. Last year’s fundraiser collected more than $20,000.
All proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward helping other children with pediatric brain tumors through education and assistance to the families while during treatment. Proceeds will also help fund research to eliminate pediatric brain tumors.
To donate to Landon’s Hope, click this link.