‘Jammin’ to get encore

Dunn family, whose son Julian had brain tumor, plan another benefit concert. This time, it will fundraise for local charities.

May 08, 2010|By Brianna Bailey

Some four months after finishing his last round of chemotherapy, 6-year-old Julian Dunn has almost an inch of newly grown hair on his head.

A year and a half after doctors found a golf-ball sized tumor in Julian’s brain, his parents say life is finally returning to normal at their Newport Beach household.

The hearth in the Dunn’s living room is lined with Julian’s extensive collection of LEGO spaceships and cars. Julian would spend hours building with LEGOS while undergoing 55 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy treatments that left him weak and nauseous.


The LEGOS were a solitary, indoor-activity that were a lifesaver for Julian during those long weeks of therapy, his mother, Andrea Dunn said.

Now the LEGOS toys are lined up on a shelf, while Julian plays with his 9-year-old brother Nolan in the backyard or dons boxing gloves for a few rounds in the living room with his dad, Rich Dunn.

“We’re thankful every day that he’s here,” said Julian’s mother, Andrea Dunn. “It finally feels like things are getting better and he can be a regular kid again.”

The Dunns received an outpouring of community support after their son’s diagnosis just before Christmas in 2008. Jammin’ for Julian, a children’s benefit concert in Julian’s honor at a local church last year, raised about $27,000 to help pay the family’s medical bills.

Now the Dunns want to pay the good will they’ve received forward. They are organizing a second concert on May 16, but with all the proceeds going to charity this year.

“It was always our intention to keep it going and give back after all of the help we received,” Rich Dunn said.

Julian’s doctor’s won’t be able to declare him officially cancer free until he is about 17 years old. He still has to get periodic brain scans to make sure the cancer doesn’t return, and will have to do so for the next 10 years.

“It’s been a long, long journey, and we’re not out of the woods yet,” Rich Dunn said.

The Dunns hope Julian will be able to start first grade in the fall.

Julian’s parents took him to Children’s Hospital of Orange County for an emergency brain scan Dec. 5, 2008, after being baffled for weeks by their son’s bouts of nausea and headaches.

Doctors discovered a large medulloblastoma, a type of malignant brain tumor, about the size of a golf ball, wrapped around Julian’s brain stem.

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