By Linda Scherer
WINSTED, MN Four-year-old Carson Klotter of Winsted is a friendly young boy who likes meeting people.
He has a wonderful smile and seems to be taking his life in stride, despite recently being diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma.
Burkitt’s is an uncommon type of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma that generally affects children. In spite of its fast-growing nature, Burkitt’s is also one of the more curable forms of lymphoma.
His family, father Craig Klotter, and Craig’s fiance Jaimie Kirsch, found the diagnosis shocking because of Carson’s age.
It was also surprising because Carson seemed perfectly healthy right up to the time a lump, the size of a golf ball, was discovered on the side of his neck in October.
Initially Carson’s doctors suspected that the lump was an infected lymph node and he was placed on antibiotics to treat the condition, which the doctors told Craig and Jaimie was fairly common in children.
Through all of this, Carson continued to run and play like a typical 4-year-old.
When the antibiotic did not reduce the size of the lump, Carson was taken to see a specialist at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis.
That was on Wednesday, and on Friday, a biopsy of the lump on his neck and his bone marrow tested positive for cancer.
By this time, Carson’s tumor was three times the size of what it had been and was affecting his breathing.
Carson’s symptoms are common with Burkitt’s. Usually the tumor is highly aggressive, and often life-threatening. The good news is this lymphoma is curable in many patients, with current aggressive forms of chemotherapy, and new measures to support individuals during intensive treatment.
Burkitt’s has been grouped into three categories, Group A being the least severe and Group C the most severe form of cancer.
Carson is in Group C because the cancer is in his neck, liver, and bone marrow.
Even with the severity of his case, Carson’s prognosis is good with an 86 percent chance for a full recovery, according to Jaimie.
He has had four chemo treatments behind him and has five more treatments to go.
Each of the treatments has put Carson in the hospital for a week during the treatment, then he gets to come home for a few days.
In between the treatments Carson deals with many side affects of the chemo including a fever, and has undergone a number of blood transfusions.
One of the most difficult side affects for Carson was losing his hair, but today he is fine with it, Jaimie said.
There is a nurse who comes to the house once a week, and Craig has become a stay-at-home dad for Carson who needs full-time care.
The family has put their personal life on hold making Carson their priority.
With Carson’s treatments and his hospitals stays, the medical bills have been mounting.
To help the family with those expenses, a spaghetti dinner and silent auction benefit for Carson is set for Sunday, Feb. 8 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 2875 Brookdale Drive, Brooklyn Park.
For questions regarding the benefit, call Carson’s aunt, Maureen Klotter (651) 462-9355.
Donations can be directed to Klein Bank at 800 Faxon Rd., Young America, in care of Stacy Thomes, (952) 467-2313.
“He (Carson) seemed so young before all of this happened,” Jaimie said. “Now he has grown up so much. When he is feeling good, we have the best time ever that three people could have together. He is so full of life and he is the best thing that has happened to either of us,” Jaimie said.
To find out how Carson is doing, go to http://www.caringbridgeorg/vsit/carsonklotter.