Parker Runyon was married in October. He became a father in January. The same month he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
On Monday, April 15, he celebrated with the team at IU Health White Memorial. There were donuts, balloons and cards. It is a day that will stay with Parker the rest of his life. It was his last day of chemotherapy.
Parker Runyon, or Burnettsville, presented at the IU Health White Memorial emergency room in January with back pain and testicular pain. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer and had surgery almost immediately at IU Health Arnett Hospital. It was going to take a couple of weeks to get his chemo regimen going at IU Health Arnett Cancer Center in Lafayette. It is a complex regimen. Parker was in a lot of pain do to the size of his tumor and preferred to get it started as soon as possible. Calls were made and he was able to start his chemo treatments right away, close to home at IU Health White Memorial.
Parker’s chemo regimen was several hours long every day for a week, then he would return on the following two Mondays for treatment. He repeated this cycle three times – that is three months of chemo. “I am glad I could have the treatments done so close to home. It is not fun to make an hour drive when you are feeling awful,” stated Parker. “Heidi and Marlene have taken very good care of me right here.”
Parker is in the prime of his life. He is 26, newly married with a new baby. “They are such a sweet family. You could tell they were so sleep deprived. Parker would be in one recliner, receiving treatment, sound asleep. His wife would be in the other recliner fast asleep with the baby laying on her,” remarked Heidi Jordan, chemo nurse.
The staff at IU Health White Memorial fell in love with the young family, going to fundraising events and buying t-shirts in support of Parker. Everyone in the community seems to know Parker and has simply wrapped their arms around him. The team at IU Health White Memorial bought fundraising t-shirts that say, “His fight is my fight.” It’s true says Jordan, “We are fighting for him.”
“This has been a real team effort and I am so thankful for the team at IU Health Arnett and White Memorial. They made me feel like family. So today, I brought in donuts,” shared Parker Runyon.
It’s what we do Parker, deliver on our promise to provide the best care, designed for you. You will always be a part of our family.
What’s next for Parker? He plans on enjoying married life and fatherhood. He is working on regaining his strength and hopefully his beard. He had a beard for ten years prior to chemo. He plans to return to work at Ball Corp the first part of May even if only part-time.