By AMANDA KIMBLE
ERATH COUNTY (September 10, 2016) – Young families face many struggles. Financial concerns, busy schedules, raising responsible children… But, coming to grasp with the news that one of those children might not live to see another birthday is every parents’ worst fear.
It’s a reality Trooper Clint Beatty and his wife, Tara, are living. Nathan, their youngest child recently celebrated his eighth birthday. The party came just days after the couple, Glen Rose residents, learned their soccer-loving son, an otherwise typical little boy, was diagnosed with an inoperable form of cancer.
While the family is living a nightmare, they are also making every minute count, and fellow law enforcement officials, area residents, nearby businesses and people they never have met – and never will meet – are enveloping the family in prayers and support.
Included on the list of individuals ready to lend a hand are V.W. and Cynthia Stephens, owners of Stephenville hotspot City Limits. The venue will host a full day of Texas Music on Sunday, September 18, when six bands will perform on an outdoor stage during a “Back the Red & Blue” concert, organized to benefit local law enforcement and fire departments.
Tara Ratliff, City Limits public relations manager, said a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Erath County Sheriff’s Office and Erath County Volunteer Fire Rescue, and the funds have been earmarked to benefit the Beatty family.
Stephenville’s own Six Market Blvd will headline the event, following performances by Kody West, Cody Jasper, Jon Young, Austin Meade, Phil Hamilton and Dalton Domino will also perform.
More about Nathan’s Journey
After a week of fighting what they believed to be a stomach bug, the Beattys could no longer accept the diagnosis. Nathan was not only vomiting and experiencing gastrointestinal issues, he was having problems maintaining his balance.
Those issues began on August 14. Six days later, Clint and Tara urged an emergency room doctor to take a closer look. Their pleas led to a CT Scan, which detected a small mass on their son’s cerebellum, the area of the brain that regulates muscle activity. The family was sent to Cook Children Medical Center in Fort Worth that same day.
On August 20, seven days before their son’s eighth birthday, the couple heard the dreadful diagnosis – Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).
An aggressive and hard-to-treat tumor was growing on Nathan’s brain stem in an area the controls vital functions like breathing, blood pressure and heart rate.
Dana Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center reports that only a small percentage of patients survive the disease.
The Beatty family was told Nathan probably wouldn’t live to see his ninth birthday. Following diagnosis, DIPG patients live an average of 10 to 16 months.
“I just got told that my sweet, beautiful little boy will die within a year,” Tara posted on Facebook @NathansJourney0827. “The next 24 hours were a blur. We had meetings with oncology people, social workers, chaplains, child life consultants all telling us about the radiation treatment, how to prepare for your son’s impending death, how to enjoy what time he has left. Words like hospice, inoperable, death and Make-A-Wish got thrown around so often I wanted to scream. All I kept thinking about was how it was going to be his birthday in a couple days and how it will likely be his last.”
Nathan began six weeks of five-days-per-week radiation treatment on August 25. Doctors told the family the treatment is expected to shrink the tumor and give Nathan a couple of months of quality time with his parents and older brother, Colin, a 13-year-old Glen Rose Junior High student.
But, like any parent would have for their child and any brother for his sibling, the family is clinging to the hope that Nathan will be one of the few DIPG survivors. His mother said she would expect no less from her stubborn, independent baby boy with the heart of a lion.
“No matter the odds stacked against him, he’ll pursue it his own way and get what he wants,” Tara posted following the first treatment. “This kid will be around for a while because he wants it! He told me last night he’s gonna (sic) kick this boo boo’s ass and I’m damn certain he will!”
More about 6MB and Friends, Back the Red and Blue
Gates to the Sunday, September 18 event open at 2 p.m., and the concert will end at 10 p.m.
Advance tickets are $20 each, they can be purchased in person at the nightclub or Agave Bar and Grill or through the City Limits website. They will also be available at the gate for $25.
Agave Bar and Grill will be open throughout the concert.
The venue is located at 1907 East Washington Street in Stephenville.
DPS organizes October fundraiser
Ratliff said the Stephens will also host an October 22 fundraiser, donating City Hall and City Limits banquet hall for another benefit to raise funds for the Beatty family. That event is being organized by Clint’s coworkers with the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Stay tuned to The Flash for additional details, which will be provided in the near future.