From Clinic Visits to College Visits: Aaron’s Mom Looks Back on 2015

by Dana Thompson
January 4, 2016

Last month, Ambassador Aaron finished his first semester at college and came home for a clinic visit to make sure he was still in remission. His mom, Dana, shares their good news and her hopes for 2016.

Ambassador Aaron smiles with his parents, Dana and Greg

Aaron with his parents, Dana and Greg.

2015 was thankfully a year of changing focus. Talk of doctor’s appointments, clinic visits, CT scans and results were overshadowed by SAT tests, college tours and application deadlines. Health milestones were replaced by academic ones, and ultimately college acceptance letters trumped all cancer remission milestones.

Life after cancer was good and as Aaron lived it, we celebrated it! High school graduation, college commitment day, Aaron’s 18th birthday, and a huge summertime celebration of life shared with friends and family.

As summer came to a close, we prepared for Aaron’s send off to the University of Pittsburgh and the beginning of a new chapter. Aaron could focus on his studies and we could worry about normal things, like will he study enough? Will he eat right? Will he get enough sleep?

Still, we didn’t lose sight of the cancer milestones, especially the news that Aaron’s clinic and doctor’s visits were being extended from every three months to every six months. We scheduled Aaron’s next clinic visit for December 23 when he’d be home from his first semester of college.

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For Aaron, I suspected the visit might be a bit of a nuisance, as it would interrupt some well-deserved sleep and social time with his sister and friends. As for me, oddly enough, I could hardly wait.

It had been a whole six months since his last scans, and while I thought the long hiatus would lead to more anxiety, it was, in fact, amazing! I was looking forward to more good news, and to seeing the doctor’s and amazing staff at the Children’s Hospital. It would be a reunion of sorts and I felt it would end a happy one.

Sure enough, Aaron’s scans were clear! The doctor told us: “Aaron is three years since diagnosis and two and a half years no evidence of disease. At this point, it is highly unlikely that there would be a reoccurrence.” It was the best Christmas gift we could have hoped for.

As for a New Year’s resolution, mine is to not to lose sight of all the hard work and dedication from the folks at the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. They funded the lifesaving research that helped Aaron, and they’re funding the research that will ultimately find a cure for childhood cancer!

Help fund the research to cure kids like Aaron. Get involved today.

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