Cancer Patient Wishes to Meet Brady and Gronkowski

Cancer Patient Wishes to Meet Brady and Gronkowski

by April 27, 2019 0 comments

While the New England Patriots were fighting for their sixth Super Bowl win, a 10-year old boy has been fighting for his life.

Since last September, Evan Raynes has been fending off T Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma.

Raynes’ mother, Kirstin, said the initial signs and symptoms Evan exhibited before his diagnosis came on slowly with doctors unable to detect the problem.

“He had been having some respiratory issues to various degrees over the past few months,” Kirstin said. “His illness led to several diagnoses that included everything from strep throat and pneumonia to allergies and asthma. When none of the prescribed treatments worked, more advanced testing became necessary.”

The family got bad news when doctors made an unfortunate discovery.

“They discovered a mass in his chest scan,” Kirstin said. “Biopsies were performed to determine exactly what we were dealing with. The mass appeared to be a lymphoma which is essentially a tumor of the lymph node.”

The tumor, at six inches wide and two inches thick, is larger than normal for someone Evan’s size, according to the family. It was not detected in tests conducted six months prior to the diagnosis.


Evan wearing a Patriots sweatshirt on his 10th birthday. Photo: Kirstin Raynes

“It was putting pressure on his lungs, his heart, and his airway,” Kirstin said. “Which explained all of his issues and lack of response to the various medications.”

The things that have kept little Evan positive through all of the treatments: Family and football. Evan, his mother says, has been a die hard Patriots fan ever since he could remember loving two players in particular.

Evan has loved the Patriots [Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski] since he was old enough to watch football,” Kirstin said. “His bedroom is complete in all Patriots decor.”

Evan’s father Travis created a page on Facebook titled Evan Strong. There, Kirstin posted photos and a special request for her son; to have Brady and Gronkowski come visit Evan.


Raynes’ treatment has taken a turn for the better as his cancer has not spread from its initial area of origin but he will still need to undergo treatments for years.

“The positive in this was that his upper and lower scans were clear which indicated that the cancer had not spread beyond the identified mass,” Kirstin said. “His cell counts look good. His bone marrow test came back with five percent cells in his bones. His survival rate is around 85 percent with treatment remaining until 2021.”

Evan talked about why the he loves the Patriots and two of the best players in franchise history

“[Gronkowski and Brady] are good and have a lot of experience and [I look up] to their attitudes,” Raynes said. “[The Patriots] can get people without getting in trouble, my family and I look up to him. Gronkowski does a lot of kids stuff and I’m a super Gronkowski fan.”

Evan’s first question he will ask the players, if standing right in front of him, is a simple one.

“Can I have your autograph?”





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