Wed, 11 Sep 2013 23:45:00 GMT — LEXINGTON (WACH) -- Eight year old Richard Culliver is defying the odds. Ten months ago no one expected him to be the X-box king, but after Tuesday a new MRI shows his tumor is nearly gone. "Kids don't come back with that, not with this... but he did," said Stephanie McMillian. Since last October McMillian has been living every parents worse nightmare. Her son was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and doctors didn't expect Richard to live much longer. "We planned a service, we picked out a plot," adds McMillian. Richard hasn't received any medical treatment since December and has been on hospice care. Tuesday's news brought a sign of hope for McMillian and her family. She's put faith first hoping for a miracle and on Tuesday she says all her prayers and dreams were answered. "Gave my child to him (God), my son and God said no, no I believe now that you trust me and he healed him., said McMillian. "The cysts of the tumor were almost completely gone," said Dr. Ron Neuberg. Neuberg is the director of Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders at Palmetto Health Children's Hospital. He says Richard's tumor is in the lower part of his brain. That area controls things like walking, talking, breathing and the heart. He points out that Richard received an experimental drug during his initial therapy but isn't sure if that impacted the tumor. Neuberg says Richard??s positive attitude and will to carry on is key in his fight to live. "I see miracles in people with very, very bad diseases responding well and even being cured, but this is one of the more dramatic examples," adds Neuberg. Since that October day Richard has been busy making memories. Richard has been to Disney World and became a fighter pilot for a day, but he says a celebration of Tuesdays news tops all the trips and awards. "Yesterday I went to Ruby Tuesday," said Richard Culliver
One lunch that has this family looking forward to the journey ahead. Richard suffers from diffuse intrinsic pontine giloma also known as DIPG. This type of tumor is in the lower part of the brain and effects motor skills including walking and talking, while leaving your memory intact. According to DIPG Registry.org, Diffuse intrinsic pontine giloma represents ten to fifteen percent of childhood brain tumors and is the most common cause of death in children with brain tumors. Radiotherapy is the standard treatment for DIPG and studies have shown little to no benefit of traditional cancer treatments including chemotherapy and hyperfractionated radiotherapy. Over the past 25 years survival has not improved with studies showing a less than one year survival rate from the day of diagnosis.
October will mark one year since Richard was diagnosed