“My son, Franklin Kirwan, is a 6-year old boy who attends 1st grade at Northwestern Elementary School. He has recently been diagnosed with multiple brain tumors, as well as tumors on his stomach and side. In August 2019, Frank went for a routine eye exam where they found some concerning signs. It was decided he should be sent to Johns Hopkins University for further testing. In September 2019, after many tests, he was diagnosed with a genetic condition called Neurofibromatosis Type 1. This condition will cause tumors to grow all over his body, inside and out, for the rest of his life.
In November 2019, Frank underwent a brain MRI and PET scan, which showed he had multiple Neurofibromas on his brain, as well as another type of tumor called a Glioma. The Glioma is very fastgrowing, and it’s severely affecting his eyesight due to its location on his Optic Nerve Pathway. Unfortunately, this has caused Frank to become legally blind and means he could lose his vision. The doctors at Johns Hopkins decided Frank needed to have weekly chemotherapy treatments for a year, in hopes of preventing the tumors from getting larger, therefore reducing the risk of him losing his eyesight.
In December 2019, he had surgery to have the port a cath placed in his chest. His first chemo treatment was in January 2020; he has to have several needle pokes in his arms and port to receive his treatments. He will also need to continue with multiple eye exams and MRIs. All of this has caused him to have severe anxiety about going to his appointments. Since Frank has started his chemo treatments, he has not been able to do the typical 6-year old boy things. Frank recently had to stop going to school because he doesn’t have the energy to make it through the day, and his immune system is too low. As a result, he is missing out on being able to interact with all of his friends at school. Frank is your typical boy and loves being outside. He enjoys fishing, hunting, and riding his motorcycle and jeep. He loves police officers and firefighters and has recently been “sworn in for the day” to several local law enforcement agencies. When he grows up, he wants to serve the community as a police officer! We’re looking forward to being a part of this year’s Tangier Classic, and are thankful to be chosen as the beneficiary!”
This year we have chosen 6-year old Franklin Kirwan, a young man from Hebron, as our 2020 beneficiary. Franklin was brought to our attention by several members of the local fishing community. Once we heard his story, there was no doubt in our minds; he was the one who should receive our donation. Unfortunately, Frank has been diagnosed with a condition called Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1). NF1 causes tumors to grow all over his body meaning Frank will have to endure chemo once a week for the next year. He will have to travel 2 hours to and from his treatments, spend several hours at each appointment, and could potentially have to stay overnight due to adverse reactions. His mother, Amanda, is a single mother of 3 young children between the ages of 3 and 11. Due to treatments, she’s only able to work 2-3 days a week. The funds we raise from The Tangier Classic Fishing Tournament will help relieve some of the financial burden and stress caused by weekly travel expenses, medical expenses, parking expenses, and time off work.
You can read more about Franklin and his story above.
Please consider sponsoring The Tangier Classic to help this young man and his family!