The Life Of Chase Stecyk



Chase Stecyk Leprechaun Dash For Gold

The Redondo St. Patrick's Day 5K offers an opportunity for kids to participate in our community event with the Chase Stecyk Leprechaun Dash For Gold. Please read below the beautiful words that Chase's family has written about his amazing life.

About Chase

"He was the sweetest, happiest kid!  He LOVED to run, skateboard and climb trees and was a very helpful and kind soul.  At age 6 he had horrible leg pain, to the point he was in a fetal position for about a week.  I took him to every doctor you can imagine, but they couldn’t find anything wrong with him.  Finally, I thought maybe he has a pinched nerve, so I took him to a chiropractor.   The doctor said I needed to get him in the hospital immediately!!  By the time we got him to CHLA (Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles)  he was in so much pain he was barely coherent.  That night they diagnosed him with a rare spinal cord tumor.  (Myxopapillary Ependymoma) 

Long story short, 7 surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy over a 5 year period.  The doctors just couldn’t stop it from coming back. On top of that the tumor metastasized to his lungs.  Our oncologist is world renowned top of his field in Pediatric brain and spinal cord tumors.  He said he has NEVER seen this type of tumor spread outside of the central nervous system!    The ironic thing also was the tumor was pressing on the nerves to his legs and he became paralyzed from the waist down.   

The whole time he was sick, he never complained he just wanted to get better.   Sadly, in January of 2011, the doctors told us there was nothing more they could do.  My husband and I decided not to tell him as we didn’t want to scare or stress him out.   He got to celebrate his 11th birthday (March 16th) and he passed away April 4th 2011.  Before he passed he did say to us that he wasn’t afraid to die because he knew he was going to heaven.  The bravest boy I will ever know!!  His memorial service had to be held at Redondo Union High School as the whole community, including all his teachers, doctors and nurses from CHLA, friends, family and people that never even met him overflowed the auditorium.  Every one wore green as that was his favorite color.  It was such a touching sight to see the sea of green that day! 

Since then we have had some really neat things happen in his honor.  Alta Vista Elementary had a memorial pergola and outdoor seating area built with a memorial plaque in Chase’s honor.  They also give out a spirit award every year to a 5th graded that “inspires” other kids to be kind and positive.  Some of the local businesses and many people in Redondo Beach pitched in and we were able to buy a “bladder scanner” and donate it to CHLA in Chase’s honor.  Also, one of my friends who is an events coordinator started the “Friends of Chase Golf Tournament” to raise money for a camp called “Dreamstreet”.   

Chase got to go to this camp two times.  It is a camp for kids fighting life threatening illnesses the camp is so important to these kids!  It’s a place where they can feel “normal” for a week as they fight for their lives!  Chase loved this camp and since he has passed away, many of his friends and Chase’s brother Cole, volunteer to help that week.  He touched so many lives in such the short amount of time that he was on this earth."

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