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Hawaii NewsWhatever Happened To

Though in cancer treatment, teenager still remains active

Gavyn Takamoto:
The teenager continues
treatment for his cancer,
goes to the movies, bowls
and plays video games

Question: What ever happened to Gavyn Takamoto, the Pearl City teenager who a year ago was recovering from surgery to treat an extremely rare form of cancer? Doctors removed a tumor the size of a basketball from his abdomen and another tumor about the size of three grapefruits from his pelvic area.

Answer: These days, the 14-year-old continues to undergo treatment but is trying to be typical teenager, said his father, Kenneth Takamoto.

"He’s OK now," Takamoto said of his son. "He has quite a bit (number of tumors), but not as much as before."

Last year, Gavyn had been complaining for a month about back pains and noticed bumps on the back of his legs. When Gavyn went to a pediatrician’s office for a checkup in order to play sports, the doctor noticed swelling and ordered a CAT scan.

The scan revealed a large tumor in his belly and a biopsy was done in March 2009.

Gavin had desmoplastic small round cell tumor. His oncologist, Dr. Darryl Glaser, said in a 2009 Star-Bulletin interview that he said he had never before treated a patient with the condition.

The highly aggressive cancer usually occurs in the abdomen and affects the lymph nodes and lining of the pelvis and abdomen. It typically occurs in adolescents and young adults from ages 11 to 20 and is more common among males.

A fundraiser was held last August at Ige’s Restaurant & 19th Puka to help defray costs of his medical treatment, but this year the family is handling the finances internally.

"We didn’t want to bother people," said Kenneth Takamoto, who said their insurance company has been very supportive.

Last summer, Gavyn went to see a Los Angeles Angels baseball game and visited Disneyland, and went to Alaska to fish and go dog-sledding during a three-week Hawaii Make-a-Wish Foundation trip.

Kenneth Takamoto continues to take Gavyn every other week for chemotherapy treatment with Glaser at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children.

Gavyn finished up at Highlands Intermediate School and would be an incoming freshman at Pearl City High School this fall, but because of his frequent treatments, he receives private tutoring.

"He likes bowling, watching movies and playing video games" just like any other teenager, said his father.

This update was written by Kimberly Yuen. You can write to us at What Ever Happened to …, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-210, Honolulu 96813; call 529-4747; or e-mail cityeditors@staradvertiser.com.


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