Trevor Strong: Jessamine County teenager battles cancer

Published 4:30 pm Thursday, January 12, 2023

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Eighteen-year-old Trevor Ogden is a country boy, according to his mother, Rebecca “Becky” Ogden.

He spends his weekdays at his full-time job, SRC of Lexington. On the weekends, Trevor can be found outside with friends fishing, hunting, or dirt biking.

Trevor was born eight weeks early to Becky and Preston Ogden. He was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for the first 31 days of his life. He was monitored for reactive airway disease, similar to asthma, for the first year of his life. Then, at about 10 or 11, he grew out of it. Ever since then, he’s been healthy.

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Becky Ogden said Trevor is well-liked by everyone who meets him.

“He’s very humble. He’s always had a very tender and kind heart, and he loves people,” she said. “So he’s a very, very special young man.”

 Trevor began developing cold-like symptoms in early December.

“It developed with a cough, and the cough got worse. Then [Trevor] got to where he was struggling to breathe somewhat. He would get winded very easily,” Ogden said.

Just after Christmas, Trevor was diagnosed with pneumonia. On Tuesday, Dec. 27, his condition worsened, and the doctor suggested he visit the emergency room.

“He had a very large pocket of fluid, a pleural effusion, under his right lung,” Ogden said, “When they did a chest X-ray to look at his lungs, they saw that fluid and thought they had seen a mass, inflammation, and nodules on his lungs.”

Even before an official diagnosis, the fluid was enough for further testing.

Doctors told the Ogdens that gathering fluid in the body is related to cancer.

“Our body is supposed to reabsorb any fluid we produce, but because his body is not functioning properly, that’s the biggest reason why that fluid accumulated when it shouldn’t have,” Ogden said.

After a few tests, a couple of CT scans, and a lung biopsy, Trevor tested positive for a non-COVID coronavirus strain, and diagnostics confirmed that Trevor also had stage 4 lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer. It’s called non-small cell adenocarcinoma and can be treatable with immunotherapy.

“Other than that, I had zero symptoms of lung cancer. So it just completely blew us out of the water,” Trevor Ogden said.

According to the American Cancer Society, late-stage diagnosis is typical since symptoms of lung cancer usually don’t appear until stage 3 or 4.

However, it is rare for an 18-year-old to receive this diagnosis. But Trevor was told his cancer was genetic.

“We have a history of several different cancers, but not lung cancer. It was a fluke thing that occurred somewhere in the makeup of his DNA that has finally shown up,” Ogden said. “It has taken, I’ve heard, anywhere from 5 to 10 years for this type of cancer to get to this point, meaning it has been around for the majority of his lifetime. And we never knew.”

Since the fluid in his lungs was drained, and he left the hospital, Trevor hasn’t been in as much pain as he was in December. He said for the past couple of days, he’s felt amazing.

Trevor said that for the first few days, he was still accepting his diagnosis.

“I was just in a state of disbelief, and as the days went by, day by day, it just started to set in. I really realized what was going on, what my life may look like for the next few years,” he said.

A lot of Trevor’s time these days is spent with his friends.

“That’s really what keeps me going and keeps my head up. All of my friends have been supportive, loving, and caring, and I couldn’t be more thankful for them and what they’ve done for me in the past couple of weeks. They’ve all been just so amazing and supportive,” Trevor Ogden said.

The specific treatment plan for Trevor’s cancer is still unknown. Still, his oncologist told the family that this type of cancer is typically treated with oral pills instead of chemotherapy.

The family has not yet met financial difficulty but has already received help from the community. Becky Ogden said Trevor and the family did not have one bad experience at Baptist Health. Country Boy brewing in Georgetown is hosting a fundraiser for the family this weekend. Becky said that the community has been “so generous” in helping the family through GoFundMe – search Trevor Ogden-Medical Bills –  and a community-organized meal train (  Becky Ogden is also taking donations on her Venmo at Rebecca-Ogden-5.

Send Trevor encouraging words, or keep up with his story on his Facebook page, #TrevorStrong

“Even though this is a horrific thing that we’re walking through, we have seen the goodness of God in small details. I know that we’ll see him throughout the rest of this process as well. You know, our lives don’t necessarily look like how we want them to all the time and fit into the pretty little boxes in our head, but we know God is with us, and he has a plan,” Becky Ogden said.