our kids


Ryder is River’s older brother who is a freshman in highschool. He loves many things including; building computers, lifting weights, swimming, video games such as fortnight and Minecraft.

River Putnam is a just like any normal 11-year-old boy who ended last school year excited to start his first year of middle school. That was until this summer in July of 2019 when he was diagnosed with a very rare form of brain cancer called Germinoma. Germinoma is such a rare form of cancer that they comprise less than 3% of pediatric brain tumors. He should be entering his sixth-grade year at Camp Road middle school, but after finding out this summer he is not able to join his friends with their first year.

Since being diagnosed he has already undergone two brain surgeries, three rounds of chemo, and is finishing up a fourth-round right now. He has undergone endless treatment, trying to beat this cancer. The process has been long and hard on both River and our whole family. He will hopefully be going to Jacksonville to complete his treatment with proton therapy radiation in the next coming months.

Before River was diagnosed, he enjoyed many things. He was always active by being on the swim team in the summers, boogie boarding, and swimming at the beach. When he isn’t outside playing or watching soccer he is just like any 11 year old who love playing video games such as Fortnight and Rocket League with his older brother. He likes all types of animals but has a soft spot for his two cats Henry and Magic. He spends lots of time with his family and his cousins. He is a goofy kid who loves seeing the smile on others faces after making people laugh. His favorite colors are pink and blue. He watches lots of cartoons and funny movies. He really likes traveling whenever he can with his whole family.

River’s brother, Ryder, is 14 and a freshman at James Island Charter high school. He enjoys building computers, lifting weights, swimming, video games such as fortnight and Minecraft. One day he hopes to be an interior designer or maybe an architect. This entire experience has been so hard on him because he sometimes feels neglected. He feels helpless to his younger brother. Since we spend so much time away or in hospitals, he has to stay at home for several hours by himself. I am a single working mom. I am a hairstylist. Since River was diagnosed in July, I’ve barely been able to work. I am not getting payed since I’m not there. Once radiation begins I will have zero income. At this point, I can only rely on donations to pay all bills and food and clothing…everything! The emotional part is enough but you feel so hopeless, and it makes it even worse not knowing for sure if the bills will get paid in the future or for how long I will have enough to be supported. My kids are so strong and have both been through much more than any kids should ever have to and I just want them to be really, really happy finally. Thank you and God bless!!!!

Melanie Putnam
(River’s mom)