Richard's Journey: An inspiration for the community

"Hug your children love your family don't take a moment for granted and love life right?," said McMillan

LEXINGTON, SC (WACH) --- Last October Stephanie McMillan got news no parent ever wants to hear, her seven year old son was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.

"You want to do everything you can for your child you want to make sure they're happy, you want to make sure they have what they want or need. They're sometimes I just have to say I don't know and it's really hard," said McMillan.

Five months ago Richard was a typical seven year old. Like must boys, he took his share of bumps and bruises, but his mother says he started having too many tumbles.

"I had taken him for a run and he was wobbling a lot when he fell, I just thought he was being a 7-year-old who didn't want to participate," adds McMillan.

The single mother took Richard to the doctor and learned he has a rare tumor in his brain stem.

"Diffuse intrinsic pontine giloma that's the original tumor and that's what it is now," points out Dr. Ron Neuberg.

Neuberg is the director of childrenâ??s cancer and blood disorders at Palmetto Health Childrenâ??s Hospital.

He says Richard's tumor is in the lower part of his brain. That area of the brain controls things like walking, talking, breathing and the heart.

"He has much more motor problems than thinking problems, and for him that's kind of a problem because he knows what he can't do and what he used to be able to do," adds Neuberg.

Neuberg says as the months pass the tumor will cause Richards mobility to decline and he will become less conscious.

Still McMillan is making memories. They've been to Disney World, Richard met the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, he rooted on the USC baseball team and is about to visit the Animal Kingdom in Florida to see his favorite animal, the hippo.

"Good can't meet another person who is as giving and thankful as he is. He's taught me, and through this I've learned not to take a moment for granted," said McMillan.

McMillian finds herself adding a little more squeeze into every hug, because she knows each day could be her last with her little boy.

"Hug your children, love your family, don't take a moment for granted, and love life right?," said McMillan, who looked down and kissed her son.

The community is sponsoring many upcoming events to help Richard and his family.

On March 17, there will be a natural Easter pageant for boys and girls at the Wingate hotel in Lexington.

The McDonalds on South Lake Drive in Lexington will donate ten percent of all sales on March 23 to McMillan and her family.

On March 30 there will be a bike ride in honor of Richard's Journey.

Another way to show support for Richard is on Facebook, there family and friends share his journey daily with messages and pictures.