The Grant Crim Hunt
My name is John Hamilton and I am writing you about an extremely close family friend. Before I get into the illness that has become a part of his life, I would like to give you some background on Grant Crim, his parents, his brother and his love for the outdoors.
Grant Crim is the son of Michael and Becky Crim. He has one sibling, on older brother named Tyler. I met Mike Crim in December, 1997 when I was completing my practicum work for my Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology from Southern Oregon University. Mike is a Parole and Probation Officer for Coos County Community Corrections in Coquille, Oregon. Mike and I hit off right away. We share a love for the outdoors, especially camping and anything to do with hunting and shooting firearms. I eventually became a parole officer and Mike and I became field partners. About a year after being hired, I was assigned to supervise the extremely stressful and work intensive job of supervising the county’s sex offenders. Eventually, Mike was assigned to assist me, as there had become too much work for one person. Mike has carried this caseload for over eight years now.
Mike’s oldest son, Tyler, tried hunting. He was not all that interested in it and has moved on to other hobbies. He enjoys the outdoors, but would rather hang out at camp and sleep in. Mike’s youngest son, Grant, took an immediate love to the outdoors. He loves archery, camping and rafting. At approximately eight years old, Grant was given a long bow as a gift. He immediately fell in love with archery. I showed him a bit about shooting a bow and provided him with a target. Grant continued to shoot his bow, when the weather would allow. He often stated he could not wait to archery hunt. His dad and I would often laugh and take it for granted that he would grow old and be able to archery hunt when he was an adult. When Grant turned 12, his father asked him if he would like to apply for one of Oregon youth rifle hunts. Grant stated he wanted to archery hunt. Mike stated he did not know how to archery hunt and Grant simply stated, John (that is me) will teach me. I had transferred my job to Grants Pass, Oregon and was now living three hours drive time from Mike and Grant. Once again, Mike and I had a bit of a chuckle at this comment and both tried to convince Grant to give rifle hunting a chance, as he would have many years to archery hunt when he became and adult. Grant would not budge he simply wanted to archery hunt.
Unfortunately, less than one year later Grant’s illness and bout with cancer had returned. The following is a timeline and brief description of what Grant Crim has gone thru from birth thru today’s date. This was provided by Becky Crim, Grant’s mother.
- Grant Michael Crim born 12/29/1995.
- 12/30/1995, Grant was transferred to Sacred Heart NICU with a collapsed lung. He was given a chest tube and placed on a ventilator. The Neonatologists said we needed to be prepared, he would probably not make it through the night. Six days later, he is off the ventilator and well on his way to a normal babyhood.
- September 1997 (20 months old), he starts to wake up screaming after every nap and every morning. His head CT is normal, doctors think he is having night terrors. He then gets progressively worse, screaming, holding his head, vomiting and unable to be consoled.
- November 1997 (22 months old), after weeks and weeks of arguing with doctors and insisting something is wrong, they finally do and MRI and see that he has a brain tumor in his hypothalamus near the optic chiasm. Doctors show me the side profile of his films, it looks like a golf ball in the center of his skull.
Grant is transfered to Oregon Health Science University to see a neurosurgeon, who takes one look at Grant and cancels his Thanksgiving plans to operate quickly. He does not believe Grant will last beyond the holiday. Grant is operated on the day before Thanksgiving, 1997. After performing a full craniotomy, his skull was opened from the left to right side of his forehead along the hairline and down to his right ear, they discovered the tumor is in a very bad location and turned out to be inoperable. A biopsy is taken instead. They give us the news and tell us they will try to prolong his life with chemotherapy for as long as they can. Grant is already a human skeleton and will probably not make it through the chemo. He starts the chemo and I spend the next month scouring the internet for a second opinion. After contacting EVERY Medical University in the country, with a brain tumor program and being told over and over again that he is too young for the clinical trials. I located a neurosurgeon at New York University Medical Center who has performed this operation successfully several times. After reviewing Grant’s films, with the tumor board at the medical center, he accepts Grant as a patient and we fly to New York the day before Christmas.
- December 29th, 1997 we celebrate his 2nd birthday at the Ronald McDonald House in Manhattan. He goes in to surgery the next morning. Dr. Wisoff successfully removes 95% of the tumor and Grant’s symptoms are alleviated immediately. He nearly doubles his weight in the next three weeks while at NYU’s Pediatric ICU. The downside to the surgery is that his pituitary is nicked during the surgery causing him to have diabetes insipidus and he will have to have all of his hormones artificially for the rest of his life.
- Grant now has a compromised immune system due to all of the steroids he must take and is hospitalized several times with respiratory problems. He gets pneumonia at the age of 2 1/2 that is resistant to all drugs and becomes septic from the infection. Doctors believe his life is in danger again, but he pulls through it.
- For the next 12 months, everything is stable. In the late spring 1999, at the age of 3 ½, the tumor has doubled in size and chemo is started again. This time his size enables him to tolerate the treatments. He receives chemo for the next 15 months and celebrates his birthday in the hospital. He takes a make a wish trip to meet his hero, Pooh Bear.
- From the age of 5 to 10 he is a fairly normal child with the exception of his weakened immune system causing him to be ill frequently and more severely than normal. He is started on human growth hormone because his skeleton has advanced in age and his bones are beginning to harden. Doctors start him on the therapy to help him reach his full height potential before his growth plates close off completely. A few months later, in November, 2007, he becomes hypothermic. His body temperature drops to between 93 and 94 degrees. He is lethargic, almost as if he is in hibernation. He is too weak to attend school and the school arranges for his teacher to come to our home to tutor him. They are not sure what is going on and schedule another MRI.
- January, 2008, we are walking in Fred Meyer and Grant suddenly stops me and says he can’t see. When his vision clears, he is seeing double. They schedule an MRI and have him see a neuro-opthamologist. He has lost most of his visual field and it is discovered that his brain tumor has recurred and instead of growing back toward the hypothalamus, this time, it has grown into the optic nerve. They decide to start him back on chemo immediately in hopes of slowing the vision loss. They are hopeful that his vision will repair itself when they shrink the tumor. After about six months of chemo, they decide that the vision loss is permanent and his optic nerves had become scarred. They tell me it is like he is looking through a straw in one eye, and that is all of the vision he has left.
- February 2008, after six months of chemo, he has not regained any vision, but the tumor is stable. He returns to school and begins to learn Braille. He is taught to walk with a long cane for the visually impaired and continues to love life. He is learning to play the guitar and has written and copyrighted a song. He has lots of friends and he doesn’t let anything slow him down. He is a straight A student and is already planning to go to college.
Grant has always talked about harvesting an animal with archery equipment. He is now unable to see in a manner that will allow him to shoot archery equipment per Oregon laws. His uncle had given him a compound bow prior to his loss of a majority of his vision. Grant has now given that gift back to his uncle, because he would never be able to use it. Grant is an extremely kind hearted human being. He is mature beyond his years. He had dreamed of harvesting a buck by bow and arrow and that is not possible in Oregon due to his visual impairment.
I wrote this letter, in hopes, that Grant Crim could be nominated for a hunt with a crossbow. He is a special child who has endured more in pain in his 13 years of life than most adults endure in the entire lives. Grant always has a smile on his face, his parents are incredibly strong, hard working people. They make it by on a modest income. Grant’s health care uses up much of there disposable income. Grant has a love for the outdoors that few can surpass.
I am hopeful that Grant qualifies for a hunt. If he does, please contact myself or Grant’s parents.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
I am John Hamilton
2426 Rockwood Court,
Medford , OR 97504
Mike and Becky Crim