Eye exam reveals tumor in Indiana first-grader

FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — There are some lessons that kids learn slowly, over time. Others are learned too soon — like the understanding that sickness is something you wouldn’t let exist if you were a super hero.

“We’ve been through a lot and he’s a tough kid, he’s a really tough kid,” said Darsi Everson about her son, Blake.

Blake Everson has been getting his eyes checked since he was a little kid.

“We’ve been taking the boys to the optometrist since they were around 2 years old,” she said.

The same was true this past February. Blake, then seven, went to his annual exam and was told he needed glasses.

“He got his first pair of glasses and all was fine,” Everson said.

But then a few weeks later, volunteers with Ossip Optometry conducting eye screenings at Blake’s school, Geist Elementary, sent him home with a letter suggesting his left eye be rechecked.

“When he brought home that paper it was very concerning to us he had just had an eye screening a few weeks prior, he had just gotten glasses, why would he need his eye re-checked?” Everson said.

Back to the optometrist they went. This time they were told to get an MRI.

“It was at that appointment where they shared that there was a mass. So we were instructed that we needed to go to Riley, where there would be a team of doctors waiting. So they ran tests that night and the next day, on Saturday April 1st, we found out that they thought Blake had a benign tumor, the tumor was growing on his pituitary gland and it was pressing on his optic nerve and that’s what was causing the issues with his vision,” Everson said.

A few days later, Blake underwent eight hours of brain surgery to remove the majority of the tumor.

“Thanks to the power of prayer, our amazing staff, our angel on earth, Doctor Smith, Blake did beautifully,” Everson said.

Beautifully during that surgery, and beautifully during six weeks worth of proton beam radiation therapy in Illinois, to help shrink what was left of the tumor.  A therapy that appears to be working, his last MRI in Mid-July revealed the tumor was shrinking.

“Blake is awesome, he is as sweet as can be, he is another reason things went as well as he did is because he’s so positive,” Everson said.

An attitude that allowed him to surprise his first-grade class on the last day of school. And smile next to his little brother, Max as he prepared for the first day of second.

“There were definite tears just of gratitude, cause back in early April we didn’t know where we would be. We’re incredibly thankful that he’s here and he’s running around and just a happy second-grader,” said Everson.

A second-grader who doesn’t need to wait to become a superhero, he already is one.

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