Honored Kid

Lance White

Age 21
Lance White Kid Photo

Location

Cedar Park, TX, US

Diagnosis

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)

Date of Diagnosis

September 2014

Status

In maintenance

Treated At

Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas Children's Medical Center of Dallas

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My Story

I was diagnosed on September 2, 2014 with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (or ALL) at 13 years old. I'd just started 8th grade. I now attend Cedar Park High School, and will complete my treatment on December 29, 2017 at the age of 17. Before my diagnosis, I was never sick and an active athlete. I even passed a sports physical with flying colors only two weeks before my diagnosis. I played linebacker in football, was catcher for my baseball team, and was a long-jumper on the track team. I was sick with what we thought was a stomach bug for only four days. On Labor Day of 2014, my parents took me to the doctor. The doctor told us to go immediately to the hospital. At the Cedar Park Regional ER, I was told that I needed to be transferred by ambulance to Dell Children’s in Austin. The next morning in Dell Children's PICU, I was told I had cancer.  Because I was in danger of heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure due to my white blood cell count being at almost 500,000, I was careflighted immediately to Dallas Children's Hospital for life-saving leukapheresis treatments. I did not get a chance to think about things; we were all too busy trying to save my life. Even though chemo made me really sick, by the end of the that week in Dallas I was told I could go home to Austin.  I lost 32% of my body weight due to chemo, and am still not back to my 'pre-cancer', 8th grade weight, but slowly getting there. I also struggle with side effects from chemo daily. I have neuropathy in both my my hands and feet. It makes it hard to do even simple things that I used to do, like run and twist the cap off a water bottle. After missing an entire year of school, I am back and attending high school. While I am getting stronger, learning is hard with the fog of "chemo brain" and increased ADHD it causes. Add that to the Dyslexia I already was dealing with, and it's a real struggle every day. When Make-A-Wish® came to me for my wish they told me to wish BIG, I chose to start my own foundation – one that would help kids with cancer. Kids just like me. Many people ask me why I started Lift Brigade®. Well, I will start by saying cancer treatment is painful, scary, and lonely. Sometimes I would be sitting in my doctor’s office or hospital bed, and I would hear crying, and screams, and sounds from other kids around me that made me want to help them and tell them, “It’s going to be okay, you just need to get through this moment.” There are a lot of things you don’t want to remember when you are going through cancer treatment. I had to overcome being scared, being in extreme pain, being nauseous all of the time, being so weak I couldn’t walk or stand and so thin I couldn’t control even my own body temperature, and feeling all alone. . My hope is that through Lift Brigade, I can help others ‘get away’ and find a place to cope with their treatment experience, and to know they are not alone. Learn more about my journey and 501(c)(3) foundation, Lift Brigade® here: https://www.liftbrigade.org

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