Local Athletes Aim For New Goal: Beating Their Son's Cancer

Scott and Kristi Young have built much of their lives around competition. Now they are locked in a struggle they can

Scott Young, Kristi Arthur-Young and their son Isaac

Isaac Young clutches his mother closer and eyes the reporter and television cameraman who've entered his home with undisguised suspicion.

By all accounts Isaac is usually a happy active 18 month old who loves music and dancing to Barry White and Bob Marley.

If he shows a different side to us, it's understandable.

In his young life, he's already seen far too many strangers, many of them bearing needles and bringing pain.

Isaac has hepatic blastoma, a rare liver cancer, a tumor the size of a cantaloupe inside his tiny body,

It was discovered barely three weeks ago during a routine checkup when his mother asked his doctor to check the hard area she had noticed in his abdomen.

"She didn't say much, but reading her face I grew concerned," says Kristi Arthur-Young.

Still the eventual answer was a shock. "As a parent you try to go on line and think 'maybe it's just this or maybe that'. The last thing I would have thought would have been a tumor. I never, ever would have thought that."

In the weeks that followed everything has changed for this young family. Isaac faces months of chemotherapy sessions administered locally and at Oakland's Childrens Hospital. The chemo will be followed by surgery either to remove the tumor or the entire liver.

Kristi and Isaac's father, Scott are now his caregivers, their daily scheduled revolving around his bi-weekly blood draws which they've learned to do or his trips to the hospital for treatment.

They are both accomplished runners and triathletes, used to setting goals and training hard. Isaac's health is now their only goal.

"He's got a long road ahead of him, so we'll just tough it out as much as we can and do whatever it takes to get him healthy again," says Scott. "That is our goal now. That is our race."

Scott and Kristi say they try to be strong and positive around their son, styaing with him every step of the way.

"We want our faces to be the last he sees when they put him under," says Scott, "the first he sees when he wakes up.

The family has insurance, but Isaac's treatment will still cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Kristi has quit working to be with her son. Scott who coaches at UNR continues to work as much as he can and a community who has watched them compete is joining in.

Fundraisers are being planned, a close friend has offered to be a donor in case Isaac needs a liver transplant. The support, they say, has been overwhelming.

"We couldn't do this without them," says Kristi. "There's no way we can ever repay this."

Maybe not, but they say they will try.

"Our goal when this is all over is to do the exact same for someone else out there," says Scott. "To return the gifts, return the care and love that we've gotten to this community."

Pay it forward?

"Yes sir."

Run for Isaac
Donations can be made to Wells Fargo Bank-Medical Saving Account
Account Number 8583913473
if bill pay: 3300 W. Sahara , 1st Floor
Las Vegas, NV 89102
For more information call (775) 721-0841

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