GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4)– In many ways, 10-year-old Wesley Martin is just like most young boys. He likes riding dirt bikes, playing baseball, and hanging out with his friends.
What makes Martin different from his classmates is the fight he has ahead of him.
When he was a baby, doctors found an arachnoid cyst inside Wesley’s brain. His mother, Tara Martin, says doctors told her the cyst was unlikely to cause problems for her son.
Last year, his condition changed. Brain scans revealed the cyst inside Wesley had grown, from the size of a golf ball, to the size of a grapefruit.
“It was scary because all these years, since he was seven months old, we’d been told not to worry about it,” Tara Martin said.
Doctors at the Skull Base Institute in Los Angeles, Calif. told Martin they can remove the cyst by performing a fully endoscopic brain surgery.
Without it, Martin says pressure in her son’s brain will continue to grow, and could eventually cause him to lose his vision or develop other life threatening conditions.
She says the scariest part of her son’s diagnosis is not knowing when symptoms might occur.
“When will they hit, are they going to be something that we can deal with, will we lose him immediately, is this our last Christmas?” Tara said.
Martin says the procedure runs approximately $168,000 and so far, it’s unclear whether insurance will cover some, or any of the cost.
She started collecting donations online, planned fundraising events, and reached out to Wesley’s classmates.
Students at Mountain View Elementary school in Windsor wrote messages on hearts for Wesley to take with him to California. Martin says some students emptied their piggy banks.
“I think it’s pretty cool,” Wesley said, “because I’ve never really seen people trying to raise up to that much money.”
The Martins hope to raise enough money to fund the procedure scheduled for June.