Community Rallies To Support Silver Creek Teen, Family
SILVER CREEK — Vigo Meyer, a 13-year-old who attends Silver Creek Central School, and his parents, Jill and Kurt, were going about their normal lives, until a sudden change in early December.
Early this school year, Meyer was sent home from school with a doctor’s note, due to migraines he’d been experiencing. At the time, his mom didn’t think too much of it, writing it and other strange changes, such as baggage under the eyes and general fatigue, as part of puberty. But the Silver Creek nurses wanted to be sure nothing else was wrong.
“I thank them so much,” said Jill Meyer. “We took him to the doctor who then sent him to a neurologist to make sure nothing else was going on.”
From there, the family ended up at DENT Neurologic Institute in Orchard Park, where Vigo had additional tests run on him, including an MRI. That’s the day everything changed.
The MRI revealed Vigo had a walnut-sized tumor on his brain, and he was immediately admitted into Oishei Children’s Hospital for a week, and surgery was set up to remove the tumor. But unfortunately for Vigo and the Meyers, surgery proved to be its own challenge as well.
Recently, Vigo went in to have his surgery, and the preparation was all completed. Jill Meyer said she had received a lot of kind words from the community, all praying for him as the surgery preparation was being completed. But as they were walking in for the surgery, Jill received a call from the doctor, who postponed the surgery at the last minute. At first Meyer was confused, but a call with the doctor later made things clearer.
“He called back a couple hours later and said that he had looked at new scans,” she said. “If he had gone in and done the surgery, it would have been bad.”
Meyer was told her son’s tumor had grown 50% in just the six-week span between scans, and now Vigo will have to undergo weeks of radiation and a pill form of chemotherapy before the surgery can be rescheduled. While they wait, Jill and Vigo will be staying at the Ronald McDonald house in Buffalo, and will drive back and forth to Roswell every day for Vigo to get his treatments.
They’ve learned that the tumor is known as astrocytoma, which attacks the astrocyte cells which support the brain, and is the reason the tumor’s growth has been so aggressive. Radiation and chemotherapy, along with more medication will have to follow to deal with how aggressive the tumor is.
While most people would choose to be private about things like this, Meyer is choosing the opposite avenue. She wants Vigo’s classmates to know what he’s going through, while wanting Vigo’s story to be a cautionary one. Jill Meyer’s background of working at the library and holding story time means she knows the significance telling a story can have.
“I feel like people need to know that cancer has a face,” said Meyer. “I have a Facebook where I update how Vigo is doing every day and I know that there are people reading the daily posts to their children. We have the information out there and I think that’s important. I don’t conceal a lot through Facebook, I just tell it how it is.”
Meyer said the support they’ve received from the school and surrounding communities has been huge for Vigo and the rest of the family. On the day he was supposed to have surgery, many people at the Silver Creek school wore gray and gold, the colors for brain tumor/cancer awareness, to show support. Vigo said the support he’s gotten has been very helpful for him through this process.
“With all the support I’m getting, I feel pretty fine,” said Vigo. “I’m probably going to be OK.”
Currently, there is a GoFundMe set up for Vigo, which can be seen on the Facebook page his mom operates. Additionally, there is a fundraiser event coming up March 13, and they are accepting gift basket donations for the event.
The ordeal has obviously caused the family immense amounts of stress, but they’ve all rallied together to help each other. Meyer said that her and Vigo give each other the strength to get through this immensely difficult time, along with the positivity the community brings.
“I have my very dark moments, but with all the support around us, I try to keep things upbeat,” said Jill Meyer. “If I’m not strong, I can’t give him strength to keep going. It is hard. It’s a struggle. We have to take everything day by day or moment by moment.”
Meyer’s Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/teamVigo2008, while the GoFundMe is available at https://gofund.me/44de2ce1