Rusty’s Hope was established in memory of Russell (Rusty) Schultz to bring hope of a cure to pediatric brain cancer patients and their families by funding pediatric brain tumor research, raising awareness and supporting families affected by this disease.
Russell “Rusty” Lynn Schultz, 7, of Valparaiso, IN, entered into eternal life on Thursday, March 19, 2015, surrounded by proud parents, Adam and Mimi Schultz, older sister, Rylee Jean Schultz and close family and friends. Most everyone has a “Rusty Story” that speaks to the joy and passion with which Rusty lived his life. His spirit came through in everything he did. Rusty was a big part of what is good and right in the world. His presence was a gift to those around him. His illuminating smile. His infectious laugh. His competitive spirit. Rusty was a natural leader with great influence. One of his greatest strengths was his compassion for others.
On December 23, 2011, Rusty was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in the pineal region of his brain, which had metastasized, down his spine. January 6, 2012, a biopsy was performed which revealed a diagnosis of Pineoblastoma, a malignant Supratentorial Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor (sPNET). Rusty began intense chemotherapy at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. His plan was complicated by several PICU stays from overwhelming infections. Rusty lost the ability to walk and was wheelchair bound for several months while relearning to use all of his muscles at The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. He underwent two autologous stem cell transplants before undergoing 30 proton radiation treatments at ProCure in Warrenville, IL. Rusty's May 21, 2014 MRI of the brain and spine heartbreakingly showed a new tumor growing in his left cerebellum. He officially relapsed and was given a zero chance of survival. The manner in which he lived with this horrific disease touched thousands of lives. Many of whom never met Rusty in person. Rusty lived with courage and valor despite the overwhelming challenges he faced. His unwavering faith inspired us all.
Rylee Schultz, age 10, Rusty’s older sister, with the help of her parents, and some dear friends, have established Rusty’s Hope, Inc., a non-profit charity founded in memory of Rusty, whose life has inspired us to raise funds in the hope of finding better treatments and ultimately a cure for pediatric brain tumors. We will be donating all money that is raised to Dr. Rishi Lulla, Rusty’s Attending Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Physician, and his research at the Lurie Pediatric Brain Tumor Program at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, IL. The mission of Rusty’s Hope, Inc. is to bring awareness to pediatric brain cancer by sharing Rusty’s story in hope of raising funds to aid research dedicated to a different fate for children diagnosed with brain tumors. It is Rylee’s heartbeat to help find a cure for pediatric brain cancer, so no other child has to endure the pain and suffering Rusty did in his short life.