July 3, 1991 – May 27, 1998
Clute was a bright and loving boy. Throughout his short life Clute was quick with a hug or a smile for all. On January 15, 1997 at the age of 5 1/2, Clute was diagnosed with a large anaplastic astrocytoma tumor in the center of his brain involving both sides of his thalamus. In the beginning, his parents sought diagnoses and recommendations for treatment from Egleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta, GA; M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX; Duke University in Durham, NC; and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN; as well as others. None of these prominent pediatric cancer centers offered any real hope for Clute’s recovery. Containment of the tumor for a time was the most hope that could be offered to Clute.
During a trip to Houston, Clute’s parents learned about Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski and the Burzynski Research Institute. The Burzynski Research Institute administered an experimental and less toxic medication called antineoplastons for cancer patients. Anecdotal evidence from Bursynski patients, from parents of children who were patients of Bursynski, other research, and the desire to spare Clute from the formidable side effects of conventional chemotherapy, radiation, and bone marrow transplants, convinced Clute’s parents to pursue the alternative treatment.
Treatment began in March of 1997 and continued over the next 8 months, but it was ineffective. During the 16 months of his illness, Clute withstood and endured each loss of function and each new cancer treatment with grace, dignity, and humor. His love for his family, friends, doctors and nurses never waivered. Even in the time since his death, the depth to which he touched others’ lives and the legacy of love that he has left for us continues.
Links to other related stories about Clute: