Liam Webb Pikeville, Kentucky

Liam Webb Battles Brain Tumor with Help of Donors

Liam Webb, a young boy from Pikeville, Kentucky, has needed the help of blood donors to battle a brain tumor.

Between her husband’s job as an ER doctor and her maternal instincts, Liz Razor-Webb has always tried to put herself in other people’s shoes when it comes to parenting and protecting her children. 

“I feel like whenever you see all these stories (of hardship),” Liz said, “I start thinking to myself, I don’t even know what I would do if that was my kid, or how my kids would handle that.”

Unfortunately, the Webb family found out. 

The unthinkable became reality in February 2022 when Liam Webb from Pikeville, Kentucky, was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 8 years old. 

Liam began experiencing symptoms in December 2021 with a fleeting headache and a brief bout with double vision while playing basketball. When the vision problems persisted, Liz called multiple ophthalmologists in the area before she could find an office that could see them on short notice. When Liam passed all the tests, an MRI was ordered and their fears were realized.

Liam was diagnosed with a medulloblastoma, a cancerous brain tumor that starts in the cerebellum. 

Liam was immediately rushed to Pikeville Medical Center and then admitted to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital later that night. The tumor resection left more residual tumor than doctors would have liked, but fortunately Liam made it through surgery with few deficits. Given the location of the tumor, Liam was at risk for speech, coordination and balance problems. 

The battle had just begun. After recovering from surgery, Liam underwent 30 rounds of proton radiation and chemotherapy once a week. The radiation treatments were physically brutal on young Liam, but he completed those in May 2022. 

Liam started with a more intense, regular regimen of chemotherapy that June. Although he didn’t experience the nausea and vomiting that so many do with chemo his blood count suffered from the toxic treatments. Liam required regular red blood cell and platelet transfusions ot keep him healthy.

Eye-Opening Experience: 'It Could Be Your Family'

Liam Webb, a young boy from Pikeville, Kentucky, has needed the help of blood donors to battle a brain tumor.

Liz donated in high school and college, and her husband, Barrett, frequently donates at the hospital where he works, but Liz didn’t understand the everyday demand for blood until Liam’s battle. The daily early morning checks of Liam’s blood results opened Liz’s eyes.

“There are so many reasons why people need blood, and that was hard for me to get my head around until all this happened,” Liz said. “It’s not just for people who have surgery and accidents and those sorts of things; there are kids who need it every day. It could be your kid.” 

Medulloblastomas are the most common cancerous brain tumors in children, according to the Mayo Clinic. About 500 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with one every year, many of whom will need blood transfusions.

“My son is A- and so he can only receive blood from someone with A- or O- blood,” Liz said. “If people didn’t donate and he can only have those two types of blood, I just think, what would happen?”

Fortunately, Kentuckians routinely step up for families like the Webbs and so many others. Even through a national and local blood shortage, Kentucky Blood Center donors ensured blood was available to get Liam through his battle with cancer. 

Line Up For Liam Blood Drive logo

Line Up For Liam Blood Drive

Now, Liam is cancer free. Check-ups to monitor Liam’s condition and potential side effects will remain routine for quite some time, but Liam is back to being a young boy, playing flag football and returning to school full time. 

Just because Liam’s battle is over, the fight against cancer has just begun. To pay it forward and help other kids like Liam, the Webbs partner with KBC every year for the Line Up For Liam Blood Drive at the Pikeville Donor Center in late September during National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. 

KBC is the exclusive blood supplier to Pikeville Medical Center, where Liam received many of his transfusions.


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About Kentucky Blood Center

Celebrating 55 years of saving lives in Kentucky, KBC is the largest independent, full-service, nonprofit blood center in Kentucky. Licensed by the FDA, KBC’s sole purpose is to collect, process and distribute blood for patients in Kentucky. KBC provides services in 90 Kentucky counties and has donor centers in Lexington, Louisville, Frankfort, Pikeville, Somerset and the Tri-County area.