When you think of a boy battling brain cancer, you probably don't picture him playing.
“I'm brave, but I'm really scared too,” says 8-year-old Christopher Thompson.
Christopher looks so healthy and happy that it even had doctors fooled: He regularly threw up and had bad headaches, but doctors initially diagnosed acid reflux.
“I told mommy it felt like I was going to get sick and she gave me medicine and it helped,” he says, “but I kept getting sick and stomach pain and headaches.”
Then a diagnosis that his parents say they can't wrap their own heads around: A massive brain tumor. Christopher's condition is called craniopharyngioma.
“It doesn't make sense,” his father, Chris Thompson, says. “You're looking at a perfectly functioning child, with this.”
“It doesn't sink in,” Christopher's mother Elisha adds. “You cry, you pray, you talk about it, but it never really sinks in.”
Not only does it not sink in; it won't end.
“He will never be 100 percent healed,” Elisha says.
That's because Christopher's tumor is so big that doctors can't just cut out. It's also located near his cerebellum – which would make surgery more dangerous. So every month, this playful little boy has to go to Atlanta for treatment.
“With the way he's living right now, we'll just manage it and let him enjoy life,” Chris says. “If it makes it short, we'll just be thankful for the time we have”
And Christopher knows how he has to spend that time.
“I have to be happy,” he says.
And the Thompsons are making every happy day count.
“Tomorrow isn't promised,” Chris says. “You're not guaranteed tomorrow. you're not guaranteed the next five minutes.”
But just as doctors couldn't see what Christopher was battling, if you ran into his family, you wouldn't see their battle.
“You could pass by us in walmart and never know that we're paying for our groceries with a gift card someone gave us because of the way Christopher's medical illness puts us,” Elisha says.
Aside from medical expenses, Christopher's family has to pay for gas, lodging, and food when they travel to Atlanta, which is why a family friend is sponsoring a karaoke fundraiser Saturday night. And Christopher loves karaoke.
“It feels like I'm famous,” he laughs.
“To hear a chld that's 8 years old that has a brain tumor say I'm famous is worth a million bucks,” Elisha says.
And, Christopher says it's not about just about the money. “I just want them to come to see me and to sing with me,” he says, “that's what I'd like them to do.”
If you want to help Christopher and sing with him, the event will be Saturday May 25th from 5:00 to 10:00 PM at the Monterrey at 4018 Washington Road, near Flowing Wells Road.