Published: May 08, 2018
Lamar Wayman is an athlete. He played football, basketball, tee-ball, and practiced karate.
But at age eight, Lamar was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor on his spinal cord and a cyst on his brain stem. In August 2017, he was admitted to Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and underwent two major surgeries in just two days to remove both the spinal cord tumor and brain stem cyst. Life changed for the Wayman family.
“One of my biggest fears when the doctors told me my son would be in a wheelchair was transportation,” Apryl Monroe-Wayman says, “My grandmother helps take Lamar to appointments but she isn’t able to lift a wheelchair.”
After Lamar’s surgery, he stayed as inpatient at the hospital for 81 days with a demanding schedule of rehabilitation seven days a week. Now nine years old, he is doing CORP (Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Program) five days a week and staying at the Ronald McDonald House with his mom. The Waymans are from Dover, Delaware, well over an hour from the hospital. With such an intensive schedule of therapy, Apryl shares “I don’t believe Lamar would be as successful in his progression since his surgery if it weren’t for the House.”
The family has adapted quickly during their stay at the House, finding help in many places. Our volunteer van drivers and wheelchair accessible van have helped calm April’s concerns about transportation, and the family has made many new friends, while also finding a welcoming environment to host old friends. Lamar has a huge support system made of friends and family who often visit at the Ronald McDonald House, including members of their church “Power in Praise Ministries.” Pastor Bishop Carlos Cannon Sr. and his wife LeFeisha Cannon, who are also Lamar’s godparents, lead this supportive group.
The Waymans’ journey is teaching them many things. “I’ve learned so much from other families and appreciate that Lamar has the opportunity to see different children who are all going through different struggles,” says Apryl. She says she has also learned patience, and that she is not going through this alone. “There are people willing to help. People come and cook meals, taking time away from their own families; that means so much.” Now, the Waymans are extending that kindness, often sticking around after dinner, inviting other families to play games at the table with them.
Lamar’s favorite part about the House? “Eating!” He says. He especially enjoys the ice cream socials hosted by volunteer groups.
As Lamar’s journey to recovery continues, his family hopes he will continue to progress and “become the young man that God has planned for him to become. We hope that he will be able to walk again and that he can return to playing sports.”
Lamar is certainly still an athlete. He and his friend Isa did not one, but TWO very competitive wheelchair races down our hallway last week. There was lots of laughter.
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