Dean's Dream Foundation was founded in April of 2020 to help raise funds for pediatric cancer research. We lost our beautiful son Dean Carr at the age of four to a deadly brain tumor. Although Dean is no longer with us, we believe it would be his dream to find a cure for these difficult-to-treat and neglected brain tumors. Our mission is to find a cure and prevent other families from going through the same thing we went through. The money we raise will be distributed to different medical research projects dedicated to finding innovative and effective ways of treating pediatric brain tumors.
A Bit of Background
Our son Dean was amazing boy. He was extremely happy, loving and funny. We could not be more blessed as a family having Dean (3 at the time) and his little brother Adrian (almost 2 at the time). Life was great. On November 1, 2018 however, our lives were changed forever when Dean was diagnosed with a high-grade mid-line glioma. This is an extremely aggressive brain tumor that currently has no cure. The week leading up to that day, Dean had been more tired than usual taking long naps. He also vomited a few times (unexplained) and complained of a headache. We took him to his pediatrician for checkup and everything came back normal. Halloween night 2018 he was not himself. We went trick-or-treating and he was out of it. he did not want to eat any of the candy which was very unlike him. He finally told us he was tired and had a headache and wanted to go home. He went to bed that night at 7pm which was also very unlike him since he usually fought bedtimes and wanted to stay up and have fun. That night around at 5am he woke up and could not stand on his own. His balance was completely off and would fall over. We took him to the emergency room where they proceeded to perform tests to see what the issue was. A CAT scan revealed that he had a mass in his brain blocking the drainage of brain fluid causing a condition called hydrocephalus. He underwent a craniotomy and an endoscopic third ventriculostomy was performed to drain the fluid from his brain. At that time we were given the horrible news that Dean had an aggressive tumor that had no cure. Essentially, we were given a death sentence.
Dean fought hard and underwent proton radiation and chemotherapy which seemed to work for about six months until the tumor started growing again. It grew into the pons area and unfortunately there was no treatment to stop it. The tumor growth eventually stripped him of the ability to talk and walk which is excruciating to watch. We were completely helpless. Eventually the tumor growth affected his breathing and he lost his battle. Dean passed away on September 5th, 2019 only 10 months after diagnosis. He was then four years old.
Dean left a huge mark on those who knew him personally and those who learned of his story. Since his diagnosis so many people showed their love sending us food, cards and presents to our home. Above all, they sent their prayers. We believe something must be done to advance treatment for this disease. We need more research and more attention to this tumor. We must do something to help prevent other children and families from going through what we went through. No family should ever have to face a nightmare like this. This is our mission.
We have vowed to live by “The Dean Code” which is to love everyone with a pure heart. This was Dean’s way. He gave love freely to all. Let’s all do the same to one another.