Video courtesy of WXOW Channel 19.
A 2012-13 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® hero
Ask Jonas Kugler of La Crosse, who is not yet 4 years old, and he’ll tell you it is rhabdomyosarcoma. It’s not a word you’d expect a kid to know, but then most kids aren’t battling this beast—cancer. Jonas insisted on learning how to say the word. Maybe it’s his way to know his enemy.
Jonas likes the idea of being a hero just like those in the stories his mother reads to him and his sister, Brenna—stories about knights and dragons. In fact, when faced with a daunting treatment of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, his mother told Jonas that the doctors were sending in “a crack crew of tiny knights to kill off the bad stuff.”
If cancer wasn’t such a sobering diagnosis, the circumstances that led to its discovery might have been one of those cute kid stories that parents tell. In January, Jonas stuck a raisin up his nose. His parents got it out and thought little about it until a few weeks later when antibiotics failed to clear up a suspected sinus infection. They mentioned the raisin incident to the doctor who agreed that Jonas’s symptoms could be the result of a foreign object still in there. Tests revealed that instead of another wayward raisin, Jonas had cancerous polyps blocking his sinuses.
Jonas had surgery followed by radiation and chemotherapy. He’s responding favorably to his treatment and his prognosis is good.
“If Jonas had to have cancer, there’s nowhere we’d rather be for his treatment than Gundersen Health System,” say the Kuglers. “Pediatric oncologist Dr. Bob (Ettiger), Kathy (Mix, RN) and everyone else involved in his care are all amazing to work with.”
The Kuglers also appreciate the care and support they received from CMN Hospitals. “They gave us food vouchers that were a great help during all of Jonas’s hospital stays—it was so nice to have one less thing to worry about! They also gave Jonas gifts that helped make his visits less scary,” explain the Kuglers.
“It is important to have CMN Hospitals in the community because they support children and their families through some of the most difficult situations they can face. They are such a wonderful resource—both financially and socially. It’s so helpful to have kind and knowledgeable people to rely on when your world turns upside down,” the Kuglers add.
Although he’s still a little boy, Jonas has big and noble dreams. Currently he plans to be a pilot, train engineer, astronaut, paleontologist, archeologist and maybe a doctor when he grows up. After slaying the cancer dragon, there’s little doubt Jonas will have a future of heroic proportions.