Boy, 7, taking brain cysts ‘really well’

Cole's symptoms started last fall with headaches, the 7-year-old's mom told KOIN 6 News. Now, his family is raising funds to help him get the brain surgery they believe he needs. (Ellen Hansen/KOIN 6 News)

SHERWOOD, Ore. (KOIN) — Dozens teed off at Heron Lakes Golf Course to help a 7-year-old live a full life.

They hit the links Sunday in an effort to raise money for 7-year-old Cole Smith’s life-saving brain surgery.

Cole’s symptoms started last fall with headaches, his mom told KOIN 6 News. He had to be rushed to the Emergency Room just before Christmas.

“He was complaining about his legs a lot, he was complaining about odd pains,” his mother said. “He was tired all the time. He just wasn’t acting himself.”

9-8-13-golf for Cole
A golfer gets ready to putt as part of a fundraising event for Cole Smith held Sept. 8, 2013, at Oregon’s Heron Lakes Golf Course. (Ellen Hansen/KOIN 6 News)

An MRI revealed Cole had two benign arachnoid cysts — keeping him in almost constant pain and preventing him from doing most things 7-year-old boys do.

He is losing vision in one eye, has migraines that make him sensitive to sound and light, and has constant nausea and dizziness.

“He’s handling it way better than we thought,” his mom said. “Just because of the type of personality he is, he usually doesn’t take this type of stuff very easily. Usually if he gets a scrape he freaks out — but with this, he’s doing really well.”

Money is an issue for this Sherwood family. The surgery his family believes Cole needs costs far more than their Oregon Health Plan coverage will provide. He’ll have a dime-sized incision just behind his ear, and surgeons at the Skull Base Institute in Los Angeles will essentially vacuum the tumors out of his skull.

So, for the golfers who drove the fairways Sunday, this was about more than golf. For those on the course, they drove for the future of 7-year-old Cole Smith — for the hope that their funds and this surgery will ease his pain and get him on the path to recovery.

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