Westin Brown Battles Leukemia


Written by: Trinity Krouse, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Westin Brown, younger brother to sophomore Gatlin Brown, was diagnosed with Leukemia at age 3. Five years, one relapse and many chemo treatments later, he continues the battle against his own cells. Westin was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) at Children’s Mercy Hospital.  

“Westin went through four years of chemotherapy and then went into remission last year. A little over a month ago, they found cancer in his nervous system and [he] underwent a higher dose of chemo,” said Brown’s cousin and 2018 graduate Cecilee Huber.

On Aug. 17, Westin had a spinal tap and bone marrow test to see if cancer appeared in either. Cancer showed up in the bone marrow, a trait of ALL. According to the American Cancer Society, the cancer starts in lymphocytes, or white blood cells, found in the bone marrow. These white blood cells are what help your immune system fight off infection. To treat this, Westin has to have a bone marrow transplant from a donor with a match.  

“The cancer has been bad for a long time, but recently it has been increasing. [Because of the treatments, it’s] getting to where it isn’t as bad,” said Gatlin.

Apart from normal chemotherapy, Westin has had to have his appendix removed as a result of one of the treatments. Recently, the doctors wanted to give Westin a higher treatment of chemo, but waited in fear of Westin having a stroke as a side effect.

“Some of the results of the treatments are: loss of hair, weakness, paleness, and sickness,” said Huber. “He’s a weak little dude, but he’s also fighting like John Cena.”

Westin’s family has been with him during his chemotherapy and treatments since they first found out about the cancer.

“Everyone in our family had a certain way of dealing with it at first, but at the moment, everyone has begun to be more of a unit and begin being happy again,” said Gatlin.

Some people in the community have also showed their support for Westin. On Aug. 31, the varsity football team dedicated their 42-6 victory over Tonganoxie to Westin. A group called Westin’s Prayer Warriors prays for Westin’s battle against cancer.

“People have been absolutely amazing when it comes to supporting him and his family,” said Huber. “Howie Lucas had a prayer circle that started at his church on Mondays at 8:15. People have been making the Brown’s dinners and getting them food. My dad and I got tattoos that say ‘warriors for Westin’. We got to show them to Westin, and he grinned. I can’t thank people enough for showing him and his family love. It makes me super happy to see my cousin smile even though he’s going through a difficult time.”

Updates on Westin’s condition, and more information on Westin’s Prayer Warriors can be found here.