'I'm scared as heck': Danville teen to have surgery to remove brain tumor

Landen Walker, 15, had surgery in February to remove another tumor

By Colter Anstaett - Reporter

DANVILLE, Va. - Landen Walker, 15, is your typical teenager.

He loves playing games on his phone and wants nothing more than to be in school with his friends.

"All my friends and all the teachers I know already, it's going to be so uncomfortable without them being here," Walker said.

This time next week, he'll be on an operating table at a hospital in Pittsburgh having a tumor the size of an orange removed from the lower left side of his brain.

"Basically, I'm scared as heck," Walker said.

The tumor was discovered about two weeks ago during a visit to the doctor.

"Let's just say I dropped the F-bomb as loud as I can," Walker said.

It is heartbreaking news for he and his mother, Robyn Raines, especially because there had been no signs of a tumor since a surgery in February.

That's when doctors had to remove a tumor growing inside his nose.

"We just both broke down and cried all the way home," Raines said.

They aren't the only ones praying.

A Facebook page set up for Landen has gotten the attention of hundreds of thousands of people.

"God's Pit Crew reached out and wanted to make me a prayer page," Raines said. "It's reached over 300,000 people. We've got, like, 6,000 prayers, comments coming in."

She reads every one of them.

"You know our prayers are with you, Landen. We love you and take strength in knowing that our God is in control," Raines said, reading one of the comments.

She's also set up a Facebook page and a GoFundMe account for Landen.

Along with the prayers, people locally have offered to help Landen.

"After his first surgery, he wanted to go to Tiny Town (mini golf), so somebody has reached out there  and said, 'Bring him by on Saturday and let him play a round on them,'" Raines said. "My daughter's boss' husband has a dune buggy car. He wants to take (Landen) for a ride before he leaves to give him special memories."

A bonfire is also scheduled for Friday and a local limousine company has offered to take Landen and his mother to a future doctor's appointment.

People from Pittsburgh have reached out and offered to help Raines with anything she needs while there.

That gives her peace of mind, especially since Landen's condition could send him back to the hospital for years to come. 

"It can come back until he's done with puberty. I'd asked the doctor, 'What age does puberty end' and he said, 'Some cases it's 35,'" Raines said.

Landen's condition is called juvenile naso-fragile angiofibroma. Raines said it only occurs in about 50 people a year, usually boys going through puberty.

For Landen, thinking about what he's going to do after surgery helps him stay positive.

"When this thing does come out, I'm going to torture it," he said. "I'll even ask them to put it into a jar and let me light it up with firecrackers."

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