Living to the fullest
By LANCE MIHM
Twelve-year-old Seth Thuman has a thing or two to teach most people about what it is truly like to roll with the punches.
Seth suffers from a rare form of atypical meningioma, a type of brain cancer. Despite countless brain surgeries, Seth is proceeding through life with the typical youthful vigor a person expects to see out of children approaching their teens.
Seth will turn 13 on June 22, the day the Relay for Life takes place. He was diagnosed in 2003 when physicians found a tennis ball-sized tumor in his brain. It was removed after a series of surgeries, but late in 2011, a recurrence of the tumor was found.
In a matter of 15 days, the son of Jackie and Todd Thuman went through a series of four brain surgeries for treatment and may face some radiation treatments to follow up.
His father said he is a “tough little kid.”
“Given the circumstances, we feel like he deals with it pretty well,” Todd said. “He’s been through a lot.”
To complicate matters, Seth began having seizures and a series of tests revealed the part of the brain causing the problems.
The part of his brain causing the seizures had to be removed. The surgeries have also caused injuries to his hypothalamus and his pituitary gland. As a result, he has to have his body temperature monitored and has to control his diabetes insipidus, which he developed from the injuries. However, if it wasn’t for the scars or missing hair it would be hard to tell Seth had any problems of all.
He spent time talking about a practical joke someone had played on him by redecorating his room in Michigan gear. He also liked discussing his pet dog, Huey, and one of his good friends from school — Tyler.
Seth is an avid Ohio State Buckeye fan and is eagerly hoping for the basketball team to bring home a national championship.
In fact, Seth is so positive that he even figured out a way to turn his frequent trips to La Bonner Hospital in Nashville into a positive thing. One of his favorite restaurants to go to in Memphis is Huey’s, where you can write on the wall and shoot toothpicks with your straw at the ceiling. Seth enjoys his trips to the restaurant so much that he decided to name his dog Huey.
In the meantime, Seth finds plenty of other things to do with his time also.
He plays baseball in the Little League Challenger Division, and he attends Wapakoneta Middle School. He is a member of Boy Scout Troop 9. He attends the Equestrian Therapy Program in Cridersville, which has gave him an idea for what he wants to do when he grows up.
“I want to help out at my equestrian therapy,” Seth said.
Seth also likes to go fishing occasionally and play on his new iPad. He is a member of the junior high choir.
While the look of concern for her child was evident, Seth’s mother’s pride in her son’s ability to fight was obvious.
“He just handles it and takes it in stride,” his mom said.
Seth has an older brother and sister, Brent, 25, and Elisha, 24. His brother has made him a proud uncle and his sister is about to make him an uncle again two times over. He proudly proclaimed himself as a “mother hen” when it came to caring for his niece.
While the family will not participate as a team in the Relay for Life on his birthday, they plan to be present to support the event.
“We will be there to socialize and show our support,” Todd said. “And let Seth do his thing. It is a good thing they got going on.”