Child’s triumph over brain tumor inspires event - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Child’s triumph over brain tumor inspires event

A photo taken of Rafe at Arkansas Children's Hospital shortly after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. (Source: KAIT-TV) A photo taken of Rafe at Arkansas Children's Hospital shortly after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. (Source: KAIT-TV)
Rafe Sullivan says he's happy to be alive, after being diagnosed with a Tectal Glioma. (Source: KAIT-TV) Rafe Sullivan says he's happy to be alive, after being diagnosed with a Tectal Glioma. (Source: KAIT-TV)
"Full Blown Insanity" to perform benefit concert for Arkansas Children's Hospital. (Source: Shawn Sullivan) "Full Blown Insanity" to perform benefit concert for Arkansas Children's Hospital. (Source: Shawn Sullivan)
Shawn and Rafe Sullivan appear on Mid-Day. (Source: KAIT-TV) Shawn and Rafe Sullivan appear on Mid-Day. (Source: KAIT-TV)
JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -

“It is a pleasure being here today,” Rafe Sullivan shakes hands and smiles.

The brown-haired, blue-eyed boy who attends Nettleton schools doesn’t give a hint of suffering with a brain tumor just five months ago. But, the child that loves to play basketball claims the tumor would make him hear things and feel slightly delusional before his surgery.

His father explained that spinal fluid began pooling and, because of the tumor, had to be rerouted.

 “It was really a life-changing experience to say the least,” Shawn Sullivan said. “Going through that and the care that hospital gave us. It was just the most wonderful experience for them to basically save his life!” 

“I was definitely thinking, ‘Am I going to die?’ Rafe said. “It’s just awesome how good that hospital is. They really deserve to have the support.”

Upon being diagnosed with a brain tumor, Rafe was flown to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock.

“They are such a great resource in the state and I hope everybody realizes how lucky we are to have them here,” Shawn said.

Fortunate for Rafe, tectal gliomas have a very high cure rate and patient’s long-term prognosis is usually very good. Rafe had to have surgery. But, once he was feeling better and running up and down a basketball court again, his Dad decided to put together a fundraising event featuring a band called, “The Nevers.”

Shawn is also part of a band called, “Full Blown Insanity.” They will perform as well at the concert happening on Saturday, August 26 from 6 – 9 p.m. at the Trumann Sports Complex.

With a name like, “Full Blown Insanity,” it would be easy to assume the band plays heavy metal.

“Not so,” said Shawn. “Basically we do a mix from Johnny Cash to ACDC. The singer is my cousin. Her name is Misty and we do this for fun.”

Advance tickets are $10 and can be purchased at City Hall in Trumann or Aaron’s Furniture in Trumann. At the door, tickets will be $15.

Part of the proceeds will go to Arkansas Children’s Hospital and other organizations that help with brain tumor research.

“We’re going to do this to give back to the hospital that basically saved my son’s life,” Shawn said. “That’s most important.”

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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