Another Byron young person faces medical crisis

Another Byron young person, Jared Bates, underwent surgery last week to remove a rare brain tumor from his pituitary gland. Though rare, the brain tumor known as craniopharyngioma is the same type of tumor that was discovered at the base of Macey George’s brain in February of 2015.

The Bates and George families live only a few blocks from one another in Byron, and according to Jared’s father Martin Bates, even the doctors at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City were perplexed by the coincidence.

Martin said the tumor was discovered only a few weeks ago after Jared complained of double vision. A trip to the ophthalmologist led to a scan of Jared’s brain, where the fast growing tumor was discovered.

Jared Bates of Byron is recovering at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City following surgery to remove a rare brain tumor from his pituitary gland last Wednesday, Jan. 27. A fundraising run will be held Saturday, Feb. 13. Courtesy photo
Jared Bates of Byron is recovering at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City following surgery to remove a rare brain tumor from his pituitary gland last Wednesday, Jan. 27. A fundraising run will be held Saturday, Feb. 13.
Courtesy photo

“We learned about it on a Friday and we were at Primary Children’s on Saturday,” explained Martin. “In a matter of two weeks, our world was turned upside down.”

Nine-year-old Jared’s surgery took place on Wednesday, Jan. 27. Though Jared is still in the hospital, Martin reports that he is doing well. He said his son’s vision has already improved, which far exceeds his surgeon’s expectations and, in spite of 80 stitches across his hairline, young Jared keeps a great attitude and has won the hearts of all of his nurses.

“The nurses all love him; many have offered to keep him,” said Martin, who also added that he now has more education about how the pituitary gland works than he ever expected to gain in his lifetime.

Jared is expected to remain in the hospital with his mother Becky at his side for at least another week. Martin said it will take a while before the success of the surgery in this complex area of the brain can be determined.

In the meantime, a number of fundraising efforts are already in the works to help raise money for the family, which also has seven other children. The proceeds from the events will help the family pay for Jared’s medical and travel expenses.

The next event scheduled is a family-oriented run/walk that will take place on Saturday, Feb. 13. The 5K and 1-mile run/walk will take place on the streets of Byron and will cover a very moderate terrain. Organizer Victoria Dickson of Big Horn Races said the course is very easy and on paved roads, adding that participants can expect gentle inclines but no big hills.

“We encourage people to bring their children and to make this a family event,” said Dickson. “It seems especially appropriate since this is for a young boy from our community and his family.”

Signups are at 8:30 a.m. in front of the
Byron Recreation Center. The run/walk begins at
9 a.m. The event has
no entry fee, but donations are greatly appreciated.

Dickson said donations to the family can also be made at YouCaring.com by searching for Jared Bates using the search feature on the site. The site will eventually include updates on Jared’s progress.

“I know this community has been saturated with this kind of stuff
a lot lately,” said Dickson. “We need to come together one more time and support this child and a family in our community.”

By Patti Carpenter