Life was normal for the first seven months of Evan Ginter’s life. Then cancer changed everything.
Evan’s primary pediatrician noticed something was amiss during a routine checkup in December 2008. She noticed that Evan experienced shallow breathing. A subsequent chest X-ray showed a large, dark mass on his right lung, and Evan immediately was admitted to Children’s – Minneapolis.
After a series of events that included CT scans and surgery, Evan’s parents, Lindsay and Jeremy Ginter, learned on Jan. 12, 2009, that Evan had a rare form of lung cancer known as pleuropulmonary blastoma type 1r.
Gone are the days when Lindsay and Jeremy constantly had to worry about Evan. He had an annual checkup in June, when he had an X-ray. Not only was it clear, it was the first annual exam in which he didn’t need a CT scan, too – a huge milestone. He’ll continue to be monitored with X-rays for the next two or three years.
The Ginter family, which includes his brother, Edward, said they feel blessed for the specialized care Evan has received at Children’s. Not all families are as fortunate, Lindsay said.
Thanks to social media, Lindsay follows the stories of others with Evan’s diagnosis.
“For those who aren’t in Children’s network and don’t have the access to the PPB registry, there are so many questions. They just don’t have the direction we had. Since day one, we had personal cell phone numbers of our oncologists,” she said. “It’s really hard to imagine it any other way, and my heart goes out to the families that don’t have those resources.”
Evan, now 6 and still quite a character, just finished kindergarten, where he flourished.
He loves art, drawing and recess. He might even be an engineer in the making.
“Both my husband and I are insurance and accounting people, so our brains don’t work that way. He’s turning out to be much more creative than we are,” Lindsay said. “So we don’t know where he gets it; it’s good.”
There’s no doubt Evan has been through a lot in his short life. We celebrate alongside the Ginter family as Evan looks forward to starting first grade this fall.