Ronald McDonald House Helps Keep Mother and Son Together


Like a lot of 10-year-old boys, Kirian Wilkinson loves football, hanging out with friends and playing his hand-held Nintendo DS Pokemon video game.

But unlike most boys his age, Kirian’s days are filled chemotherapy treatments, regular visits to Riley Hospital for Children and a myriad of medical appointments with doctors, nurses and medical specialists.

Since last September, Kirian has been battling rhabdomyosarcoma, a soft tissue tumor found most often in children. Kirian’s tumor is in his nose and throat area.

“At first we thought it was sinus congestion but he quickly got worse and was having difficulties eating and drinking and was gasping for air,” says Kirian’s mother, Cynthia, of Greensburg, IN. “When the doctors we were seeing eventually realized how he sick he was, they gave us a choice of taking him to two different hospitals. There was no question in my mind that it would be Riley.”

During the past several months, Kirian has endured more than most could imagine: ongoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments, biopsies, spinal taps, the insertion of two central lines and a tracheotomy.  And through it all, Cynthia has been by his side every hour of every day. “It’s long, and it’s exhausting; we’ve both been through a lot. But Kirian is very strong and an amazing boy,” she says.

Cynthia says she is thankful that she and Kirian have been able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House so Kirian can be close to his outpatient treatments, appointments and overnight chemotherapy sessions at Riley.

“It’s just easier being here,” Cynthia says. “We’re close to everything Kirian needs, and I can concentrate on helping him get well and not worry about where we are going to stay.”

Kirian says he can’t wait to get back home to play football. “I want to play on my school’s team,” he says, adding that he looks forward to going back to school. “I miss my friends. I have the best friends ever!”