Michigan boy battling cancer leaves impact on Upstate officers - FOX Carolina 21

Michigan boy battling cancer leaves impact on Upstate officers

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SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Four-year-old Stephen wants to become a first responder when he grows up: always brave, and strong. But it seems like he's already learned those qualities through a sudden and difficult battle with cancer.

In his room at home in Michigan, a banner hangs showing "#StephenStrong," and his mother said there's no denying her son is one of a kind that is dealing with an uphill battle.

"It started back on Sept. 19, after he developed a bump on his head, from when a shampoo bottle fell on it, which we had been watching for about six weeks," she said. "After a couple of trips to the doctor, I realized it wasn't getting smaller, it was getting larger." 

Mariana Hohauser, Stephen's mother, said between a fever, and lymph nodes on the side of his neck, doctors immediately ran a CAT scan and found a tumor in his chest and the bump on his head turned out to be a mass. He was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma. 

"It's going to be his journey to get neuroblastoma talked about, and more research done on it and to find out why more kids are found at stage four instead of stage one," Hohauser said. 

Only 4 years old and this boy from Michigan has managed to touch those all the way here in the Upstate through Facebook.  Officers from all over the nation, including Spartanburg Police Department are getting in on snapping pictures while holding up signs saying "Stay Strong Stephen." 

"They have taken my kid in unconditionally, love him and support him, like it's one of their own brothers," Hohauser said.

After a K-9 officer came to visit Stephen's hospital room,  now he wants to be just like those officers. Judging from all of pictures of the signs posted by these officers, they want to be the ones who are strong like this young boy. 

"We have over 1,900 people praying for my son," Hohauser said. "It's like ,how can I not fight for my son? How can I not be positive with all of these prayers and people supporting us?" 

Both officers and this 4-year-old face similar a challenge: staying brave while battling the unknown. However, his mom said living in the now is what will keep everyone "Stephen Strong." 

Stephen has upcoming treatment in Cincinnati and his family will be traveling. A Go FundMe Page has been created to help with the treatment and traveling expenses.  

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