• 73°

Mother who lost child to cancer brings awareness of disease

By Liz Moomey

SALISBURY — Members of Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church wore gold ribbons Sunday morning to celebrate kids who have survived childhood cancer and remember those who lost their lives to the disease.

September was Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Wendy Baskins lost her son, Stephen Gilmore, on Valentine’s Day in 2016. Stephen was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, the most common type of childhood brain cancer, at age 3.

Stephen was taken to Brenner Children’s Hospital after a brain tumor was discovered at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center. Baskins said she didn’t know a kid could have cancer.

At Brenner, Stephen underwent surgery to remove the malignant brain tumor. The doctor told her the surgery was successful.

“I went, ‘What is malignant?’ He says, ‘He has cancer,’” Baskins said. “That was just the beginning of our journey.”

Baskins said she had hope knowing God was there.

“In that dark, dark waiting room, all I saw was a light over my son,” Baskins said. “That’s all that I saw. I knew then that God was with me.”

Stephen kept going, Baskins said, becoming “the face of survivorship.” Baskins created a Facebook group called “Parents of Children With Medulloblastoma” to connect families that were battling childhood cancer. It now has 3,000 members. She calls her son “this little light of mine.”

The battle wasn’t over for Stephen. Twelve years after his first cancer diagnosis, he was at Baskins’ parents’ house when he doubled over in pain. He was diagnosed with colon cancer at 15 years old. 

He fought the disease and, a year later, Baskins described their life as “living and thriving.”

But then he was diagnosed again with colon cancer, which damaged his intestines and stomach.

“He did what Stephen does — he put his faith in God,” Baskins said.

She said her son led her through his faith.

At 19, Stephen died.

Baskins passed on the message: “Never, ever give up.”

“Until we have a cure, we have to continue to educate the community and support the families,” she said. “I appreciated Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church. This is your second year of celebrating Gold Sunday, and this is just an overwhelming support of the Roseborough family.”

Dakota Roseborough was diagnosed with brain cancer at 10 years old in 2015. And he beat cancer.

Baskins saw the need of supporting families going through childhood cancer and started Stephen’s Purpose. The nonprofit group reaches out to families after diagnoses and provides gas cards, parking passes and emotional support. She also advocates for legislators to support childhood cancer research.

“Today, I thank you,” she said. “Because one day I didn’t know anything about childhood cancer. One day, the Roseborough family didn’t know anything about childhood cancer. Unfortunately one day, I was a mom without a child that had cancer.”



Blotter: Rockwell man charged with removing electronic ankle monitor


County’s rate of tests returning positive continues to decrease, still above 7%


UPDATED: Three charged in connection with drive-by shooting, vehicle pursuit


Gusty winds bring down power lines, trees as Zeta remnants roll through Rowan County


With Eastern Fence’s arrival, industrial park on Statesville Boulevard poised for second life


Prehistoric Prey: Dinosaur Hunt to be held at the Rowan County Fairgrounds this weekend


Rep. Warren leads challenger Heggins in fundraising, cash on hand


Panthers, Falcons look to put mental mistakes behind them tonight


Optimism grows for new charter school in Faith


My Turn, Carol Spalding: Rowan-Cabarrus poised to train, educate workforce


Education briefs: Wallace and Graham announces scholarships for high school seniors


blotter: Oct. 29

News Main

London column: World Series MVP Corey Seager honed his skills in Kannapolis


Election 2020: Howard, Townsend differ on handling of racial issues, redistricting


RSS moves to remote learning day because of hurricane remnants




At Horizons Unlimited, Mary Meyer explores passion for animals


Supreme Court leaves NC absentee ballot deadline at Nov. 12


Police warning about catalytic converter thefts


Rowan Public Library to resume normal hours


RCCC selects new student ambassadors


Rowan Sheriff provides Halloween safety tips, precautions


Two of four new COVID-19 deaths reported Wednesday from one nursing home


Spencer man charged with death by distribution after overdose death