Carrying Families Through Times of Need Since 2007
Our Family Spotlight feature is a way for The Piggyback Family to share the stories of some of our families we help. Click below to find out more.
Like many thirteen year olds, Spencer Rumer loves to play video games. He even hopes to design them one day. Spencer is close to his mom, Lisa, and his older sister Kylee. They have an extraordinary relationship that you don’t often see between teens and parents. Kyle even considers Spencer to be her best friend.
Spencer is extraordinary in another way as well, he has been battling cancer on and off for over five years. Spencer was diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma when he was just eight years old. It’s a rare cancer that affects the synovial fluid found in the joints, and it makes up only 4% of all cancers worldwide.
Over the past five years, Spencer has had over ten surgeries. Despite periods of remission, the cancer has spread to his lungs and chest. When Lisa reached out to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital following Spencer’s initial diagnosis, he was accepted immediately. The family has made the twelve hour trek to St. Jude’s at least every three to six months since then, as well as routine trips to Cleveland for treatment. As the family’s main bread winner, Lisa had to drop everything each time Spencer relapsed, making money tight. The Piggyback Foundation’s Emergency Fund assists the family with gas cards and funds for hotel stays during their travels.
Although Spencer’s cancer has been persistent, The PBF has remained by the family’s side. As Kylee began her senior year at Perkins High School, Spencer started another round of chemotherapy. PBF was able to help Kylee with a letterman’s jacket, class ring, prom dress, cap and gown and a graduation party to celebrate her accomplishments through the Education Counts program.
When mother-daughter time seemed like a thing from the past, PBF provided a special shopping trip for Kylee and Lisa to give them such much needed bonding time. Spencer wasn’t left out, he was treated to an iPad to help pass the time during his hospitalizations.
Five years after his initial diagnosis, the family was told that Spencer’s cancer had spread further into his lungs and chest and that he was now considered terminal.
Spencer continues his fight today and The PBF will be there to help in whatever way possible.