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Great Falls boy navigates cancer treatment

Great Falls boy navigates cancer treatment
Gideon Beatty
Posted at 12:36 PM, Mar 05, 2024

GREAT FALLS — A life of laughter and mischief was put on hold for Gideon Beatty. "Every Month or so, he would have fevers or cold symptoms," explained his mother, Danielle Dillon.

The red flags waved when Gideon and his older sibling were up to no good at home. Some raucous between the two and an abrupt motion injured Gideon's arm. What was thought to be just a mild accident grew worse with severe pain in his arm, flu-like symptoms, and a change in his gait. His parents, Jessie and Danielle, were concerned — scheduling appointments with numerous doctors and it led to an initial MRI and a life-flight to Kalispell to visit a Pediatric Oncologist.

"At that time, all they could tell us was, that they found multiple lesions, which would be why he was in so much pain, and why he couldn’t sleep, he couldn’t eat," added his mother.

Sleepless nights in a Kalispell hospital and doctors were certain something wasn't right. They couldn't diagnose him with cancer, but had a good feeling that might be the conclusion. The lesions on his legs were a sign there was something more. Gideon's father, Jessie, speaks highly of his son.

He describes him as, "...strong. Somebody who doesn’t quite understand or necessarily get what’s going on to them to be able to process that and go through everyday life.”

That strong boy was being faced with tough circumstances and he had to leave his dad behind.

"To be some thousand miles away and not know anything that is going on, makes for sleepless nights…"

Jessie became an anchor at home, taking care of his three other children and working to make ends meet while his other half and son were in Seattle receiving treatment. Dani and Gideon were admitted into the Ronald McDonald House in Washington where they lived out the next two weeks of Gideon's diagnosis of Leukemia.

Back at home, Jessie and the other kids, were facing eviction, from what he says was a landlord who wasn't understanding of their situation. A once boisterous home and a child with cancer, left him, empty.

"It was lonely... There's definitely a sense of being alone. I guess the fear of not knowing…"

While Jessie battled loneliness, Dani was fighting demons in a hospital. At the time, her father and sister both passed away. She was forced to put aside her feelings and focus on her child and grieving over her loved ones was not an option.

"The fact that we're home now, we are able to take a mental health break if we need it, because this has been hard on all of us." She exclaimed.

While Gideon was admitted into the hospital in Kalispell, a relative started a GoFundMe account to help with travel and medical expenses. With a goal of $20,000, the account raised approximately $5,000 and an issue with the families car came up. An appraisal of $3,000 and they used a large portion of that money one their one vehicle. Now, the GoFundMe sits just shy of the $3,000 mark.

"I’ve always been taught my whole life; work and you’ll be able to maintain…To have to swallow your pride and ask for help, goes against everything I was taught," explained Jessie.

That's what they're doing to move forward. Jessie has continued to work as the sole provider for the family and they've taken on a grandmother in their home. Times are still tough and they're looking for donations as their son is in remission. Visits to Kalispell monthly have caused financial strain on the Beatty Family but finances aren't the only thing that hangs over the family's head.

"I will constantly be on the edge of my seat, scared that something is going to take him from me. I can’t lose anybody else," added Danielle.

If you're interested in helping Gideon and his family navigate finances and his remission treatment, click here to donate.