Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor is a rare cancer that afflicts 1 in 35 million people. The survival rate is usually less than 15%, but one amazing teen intends to beat those odds, return to high school, play football, and graduate.

DSC_0859

Zak Lannon practices at West Mesa High, picture courtesy of ABQ Sports Magazine

Zak Lannon had a problem wart on his foot, so his mom, Rose, took him to the doctor on March 22, 2013, and that’s when normal life ended for the Lannon family.

Extremely high blood pressure lead to investigations and then confusion, panic then fear at the diagnosis that Zak had an aggressive cancer called Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor. Nobody within the close knit family could believe the prognosis that less than 1 in 5 survive DSRCT and Zak refused to accept it and so now he fights the odds.

Zak has never been a quitter and refused to lie down; instead he is fortified in his fight for life with a smile and a determination those who have met him can hardly believe. The 17 year old has been through 5 bouts of chemotherapy and stem cell harvesting before traveling to New York with his Dad John, for surgery and removal of multiple tumors in his abdomen.

Fundraising started with tee shirts bearing his mantra and his West Mesa High school football number (36) on the back, and these can be bought at House of Football in Albuquerque (Eubank & Candelaria) or online at www.HouseofFootball.com.

An auction of memorabilia was planned for November 15th after some amazing donations from all over the world. Courtyard by Marriott donated the room and food, Gruet wines agreed to help, KOB’s Heather Mills was to be the celeb emcee and Bentley Auctioneers were to knock down the unique lots professionally – But due to very low ticket sales the event had to be postponed. All donated lots will still be sold off to raise funds for the Zak Lannon Cancer Fund but using less local avenues. A worldwide market might better suit some( if not all) the auction lots, especially given their rarity.

A full ‘Press Release’ page has been added for more detailed information on the way forward.

Continue to Wear The Shirt!

Updates:

August 27th: Zak awakened from many hours of surgery, doctors removed 95% of the cancerous tumors and Zak kept his spleen.

September 3rd:  Zak continued regular physical therapy.

September 18th: Zak had a surgical procedure after a minor setback. 

September 19th: Zak starts intraperitoneal radioimmunotherapy with an experimental drug administered directly into his stomach lining. The radiation infused drug attacks only cancer cells and has been used on patients less than two dozen times.

Among other goals, Zak is focused on getting well enough to go with his father, John, to the Dallas Cowboys game against the Broncos on October 6th. Go Zak!

Thanks to Jet Blue, the Lannons flew home free from NYC. Awesome airline! Thanks Jet Blue!

Zak did attend the game with his dad, and the Cowboys treated him with style! Zak has over 30 days off of chemo and the experimental drug, but then returns to NYC for more, including radiation treatment. He is staying strong, and he is a true inspiration.

Zak update on November 13, 2013: He had his second round of radiation in NYC. Luckily, lemon candy and lemon juice “work wonders” at lessening the awful taste in his mouth that is caused by radiation treatment. Even though he feels sick as expected, his mom writes: “not bad for his second round.” He is still going strong!

2014 update: On January 29th, Zak came into the store with his family to give us great news. He has been back at home since 2 days before Christmas, back at school and almost cleared of the worst a big C could throw at him. Pictured here from LtoR is Dad John, Sue with Baby Sophie, Zak, and Mom Rose.

Zak is Back

Zak is going to be getting some precautionary chemo over the coming year but if, as expected, the scan results are positive, it looks like he can say he beat the DSRCT, one of the nastiest known cancers.

His smile, his demeanor, and his positive attitude got him through, alongside the help and support of friends, fans and HoF customers. Every supporter added weight to his battle, and the war is not over but he has got this.

Thanks to all our FB fans, customers and the like for lending us your ear and support of this amazing young man.

Any inquiries and or offers of help can be directed to: Inquiries@HouseofFootball.com.

As Babe Ruth once said:  “It is hard to beat a person that never gives up.”