By Adam Droscha
Staff Writer
Zayne Warren
Most of us will know a family member or friend with a serious medical condition. Many of us, however, may never know what it’s like to actually have such a condition, let alone to be battling it for most of our lives.
Zayne Warren is 6 years old, and he’s fought brain tumors since he was a toddler. He’s never known another way of living, but the point is that despite his battle, he is still living and he is still fighting.
At around the ages of 2 to 3 years old, Zayne began having headaches. When parents Jake and Jessica Warren took him for an MRI it was discovered that cyst covered tumors were growing on Zayne’s optic nerve, and he was diagnosed with an optic glioma. The Warrens were informed that the tumors were inoperable, so chemotherapy was the next option for Zayne. He went through chemo for about a year and a half until a surgeon willing to help was finally found. The Warrens contacted about 11 top-level hospitals, but it was MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas that responded positively to Zayne’s case.
To the great surprise of both doctors and family, Zayne’s first surgery went smoothly, and the speed of his recovery was just as shocking. Unfortunately, only two months after the first surgery the tumors and the cysts grew back in their entirety, and the Warrens were back to square one. More variations of chemo were tried, but nothing could deter the growth of the tumors and cysts. Ultimately the Warrens felt that another surgery was the only option. The same surgeon was contacted and Zayne returned to Texas for his second surgery.
The second surgery, however, did not go as well as the first. Zayne had a stroke during the surgery and he lost the control of the left side of his body. His return to consciousness after the surgery took longer, and he had months of rehabilitation in front of him. Zayne is still recovering and regaining his strength, but he needed no time to find a positive attitude and resolve.
Zayne remains confident and hasn’t lost his sense of childhood, according to his father Jake. Despite little control on the left side of his body, Zayne is still very active and acts like a normal kid. Despite his ailments, he goes to school, interacts with friends and peers, and enjoys life as much as anyone else.
The support from local, state, and national communities has been inspiring for the Warren family. The entire Springport community rallied around Zayne and started the Super Zayne slogan. The Springport wrestling team adopted the Super Zayne logo, and the Super Z has been seen on jerseys and shirts everywhere. Rebecca Roberts, executive director at Dowding Industries and coworker to Zayne’s father and grandfather, started producing the Super Zayne shirts as a way to build funds for the family. Zayne’s family is pleasantly surprised at the unlikely places and faces they see with the shirts.
The support and encouragement from other organizations like Charlotte Assembly of God and the Springport Police Department has also lifted the family’s spirits. Zayne is now an honorary, deputized officer for the Springport police department. Mark McGee, owner of Mark’s Place in Eaton Rapids, donated 10 percent of sales earnings from his business to Zayne on Tuesday, Nov. 22.
Zayne and his family can hardly express their gratitude for the help, prayers, financial donations, social media presence, and community involvement.
“Any appreciation I can say won’t do justice to how I feel,” said Jake.
Zayne’s battle has completely changed the family’s perspective on children with illnesses and diseases. Although Zayne’s struggle has taken its toll, they understand how good they have it. Zayne is recovering, and that’s more than many families can say. Jake commented that his thoughts on places like St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital have also completely changed. He and the rest of the family now understand the importance and impact of donating to places like that.
Although so much help has already been given to Zayne and the Warren family, there are still ways to show support. Those wishing to donate to Zayne can contribute on Those wishing to follow updates on Zayne can visit the Prayers for SUPER Zayne Facebook page, or find Jessica Warren’s blog at Jessica and her sister write in the blog, and have also written a book, information for which can be found on the blog website.