A few months ago, Kaito Richter of Great Bend, was a normal healthy little boy full of energy. Then his mother, Amber Beverley, noticed a lump in his leg that did not go away.
After tests were performed, he was found to have Ewing’s sarcoma, which is a rare type of cancer found in bone or soft tissue. Kaito’s cancer is located in the tissue on his upper leg. There is no explanation of where his cancer came from.
It has not been an easy road for Kaito since his diagnosis. Every three weeks, he travels to Wichita and has to sit for four hours while he receives chemotherapy. On Christmas Eve, he had to get a blood transfusion.
"It’s hard for him to sit still during chemo," said Beverley. But, "they have TV, toys, and it’s very kid friendly." Kaito receives treatment at the Medical Arts building near Wesley Medical Center.
The family is determined to stay positive. "It’s tough, but we’ll get through it," said Beverley who is only 20-years-old herself.
"It drops a bomb," said Nick Richter, Kaito’s father. "It is the last thing you’d expect to hear is that your 2-year-old has cancer. You’re angry.
"It tears you up because you can’t explain," Richter said. "He doesn’t understand it. You want to jump in their shoes and take their pain."
The community has been supportive of the young family. "We’ve gotten help from total strangers," said Richter who is 25 years old. Both he and Beverley grew up in Great Bend and have families close by and lots of friends.
"It proves there are still good people in the world," said Richter. "I just try to keep a positive mind.
"You might as well have a positive outlook," said Richter. He lost his Dad when he was 18 to a plane crash, and it opened up his eyes to how life goes.
They are unsure how long Kaito will need chemotherapy, but the doctors want the tumor to get as small as it can. Richter said that the tumor has gotten smaller with chemotherapy. Kaito will eventually have surgery to remove the tumor.
The family is just taking the situation day by day.
This illness has also been difficult in other ways for the family. Beverley quit working full-time because she found that Kaito was getting frequent colds in day care, so she now works part-time and stays home full-time. Richter works at Eldridge Fencing.
Kaito does have insurance, but "without help, we wouldn’t be making it all," said Richter. "Kans for Kids is awesome. They are all about helping."
One thing the couple wishes for, though, is that Kaito could receive treatment in Great Bend.