top of page

McKay Hansen

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

Our Wall of Hope Recipient for Newsies JR is McKay Hansen. McKay was diagnosed with Stage 4, High Risk Neuroblastoma--a solid tumor cancer of the sympathetic nervous system--in February 2014 when he was just 3 years and 9 months old. His symptoms leading up to his diagnosis were not "screaming" cancer, but were common symptoms that could be brushed off as any childhood illness. However, when they were persistent, red flags started to rise. He battled Neuroblastoma for 17 months—which included 5 rounds of chemotherapy, tumor resection, MIBG therapy in California, autogolous stem cell transplant, radiation, and 6 months of immunotherapy--before he finally conquered cancer and obtained NED (No Evidence of Disease) status in July 2015. He was able to proceed forth with a 2 year trial drug that aimed at keeping the cancer in remission. He successfully finished that trial in November 2017, and was able to close that chapter and continue onward and upward with being a normal kid. Besides bi-lateral hearing loss caused from chemotherapy, McKay didn't have any other side effects from treatment.

Fast forward a few years to February 2021, exactly 7 years to the weekend that McKay had originally been diagnosed with cancer, he had been experiencing some "red flag" symptoms the few weeks prior. Being 5 1/2 years NED at that point, they thought they were in the clear, because the chance of relapse that far out was very rare. Unfortunately, it happened, and at the age of 10 years and 9 months, McKay once again entered the arena of fighting for his life with a widespread relapse of Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. While initial chemo/immunotherapy combos were effective in reducing the disease burden, about 15 months into relapse therapy (18 cycles of chemo/immuno), disease progression started to happen, and they had to switch gears in therapy options, which led them out of state to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to try to additional trial therapies not offered in Utah. Those therapies stopped the progression, and held the cancer stable for several months. In January 2023, they were unfortunate to find that the cancer had spread rapidly and widely, and all ground had been lost over the previous 2 years of treatments, having to essentially "start over", yet McKay's body and blood being taxed from the previous therapies already. He is currently doing chemo/immunotherapy treatments again to stop disease progression as they are awaiting the opening of a new trial in Philadelphia to hopefully find some success in beating this cancer! Having been in the cancer arena for 9+ years now, McKay has gone from a Lightning McQueen loving pre-schooler to a Link/Zelda loving tween over the years. While our family dynamics have changed from having young children to now having teenagers and adding 2 more kids to the mix, the fact that we never give up, and don't put life on hold has been one of our mottos—we live life through the journey. We seize the day, and embrace living life to the fullest! We have been blessed by wonderful neighbors, friends, and family that have lifted our family through the trenches, and continue to do so, as we continue to fight for McKay's life.


bottom of page