Andrew Wilson Wratten

Our Little Warrior

Mouse-themed first birthday party in April 2014 – bounce houses, piñatas, DJ, delicious food – a dream party for any kid!! 

Two weeks after the party, Andrew’s mom and dad, Linda and Tim, shared the
fabulous news that Andrew was going to be a big brother!
Linda was pregnant and due in early November 2014!

On Friday, May 30, 2014, Andrew hit the left side of his head while playing peek-a-boo and got a bump as a result.  He was taken to see a pediatric doctor a couple of days later because the bump was still swollen.  Since Andrew displayed no other symptoms, the doctor believed it was nothing more than a minor contusion and would resolve itself on its own within a week or two.  A week later, Andrew became ill with what the doctor believed to be the stomach flu, but when he developed a high fever, Tim and Linda took him to the emergency room to get checked out.  The ER doctor was concerned that the bump on his head was still swollen, now 10 days later, so he ordered a CT scan.

On June 9, 2014, as Tim and Linda sat in that ER, their worst nightmare became a reality.  Andrew was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma cancer, and immediately taken into surgery to remove a tumor on the left side of his head….a tumor that could be felt from the outside of his head, as it had grown on his skull and was just under the skin.

Numb, Tim and Linda started informing their loved ones.  Everyone was shocked, scared, sad, nervous, devastated.  Friends and family rallied together and set up a blood donation site, a meal delivery website where everyone can sign up to bring lunch and dinner to the family, a financial donation website, a Facebook page where Tim and Linda can share their story – and the adorable pictures of their sweet son as he embarked on this journey.

After surgery, Andrew began chemo – 8 rounds were planned.  Tim and Linda took him in to get his head shaved (to beat the chemo to it!), and Tim donned a new shiny dome, along with his co-workers in the Public Defender’s office.  As Linda’s belly continues to grow, Andrew’s treatment continues. 

Andrew has now completed multiple rounds of chemo, countless blood transfusions, numerous nights in the hospital, undergone multiple surgeries and learned to live with a central IV line in his chest – all at such a young age!

Andrew is now the proud big brother to his little baby brother!

And his treatment continues!

Tim is the breadwinner in the family – and he MUST keep his job in order to keep their medical benefits – for Andrew, for Linda, and for their other child.  Tim has used up all of his paid-time off, and his co-workers are unable to donate their paid time off because Tim is not the one that is sick.  Family and friends have stepped in tremendously and helped raise thousands of dollars through pancake breakfasts, online fundraising campaigns, restaurant promotions, car washes, and more.  A silent auction event will be held in April 2015, and now the Talbert Family Foundation has stepped in to support our ongoing fundraising efforts.

But the bottom line is that they need help – Tim will need to continue to take time off as Andrew undergoes treatment. They are a hard-working family that gives back to their community, and is loved by all – this is evident by the tremendous amount of support they have received.  Tim’s former employer, the Pasadena Police Department (where he was an officer for 7 years and retired after a catastrophic car accident while on duty which nearly took his life), has organized fundraisers; friends of friends across the country (and world) have set up prayer chains; Tim’s coworkers have set up a “Pick Your Pocket” giant water jug where everyone is encouraged to drop their spare change to support the family. 

We ask that you please keep Tim, Linda, Andrew and his baby brother in your thoughts and prayers as they battle this monster called cancer.