Honored Kid

Drexel R.

Age 12
Drexel R. Kid Photo


Cannon Falls, MN, US


Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)

Date of Diagnosis

June 2014


In maintenance

Treated At

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota Mayo Clinic Rochester

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My Story

Official blurb: Thank you for supporting me and the more than 300,000 kids worldwide who will be diagnosed with cancer this year. By sharing the gifts of your time, talent and money with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, you're supporting research to give all kids with cancer a better chance for a cure. Okay, our turn: On June 2, 2014 life as we knew it changed forever. Drexel (aka Rex) had an unexplained limp for awhile and was diagnosed with everything from a sprained ankle to possible hip dysplasia. Finally in June a doctor found a fracture that should not have happened from the simple fall in the yard which precipitated the bone damage. Rex was 2. Toddlers fall. It happens. Femur fractures don't happen often. Anyways, long story short we met a new doctor on June 2. I don't remember her name, all I remember is her red hair, her saying she knew another child who had presented with similar symptoms the previous summer, her saying the words that made my heart stop - "that child had leukemia", and her tears as she entered the room after testing his blood. Leukemia. Cancer. Chemotherapy. New words suddenly thrust into our vocabulary. Learning the routine of treatments, pokes, doctors visits, ER visits, chemotherapy. Endlessly watching our beloved son for high temperatures, knock-knees (thanks a lot, vincristine), steroid induced mood swings, etc. He lost his hair. He lost weight. He got to the point of refusing to go to sleep unless he was cuddling a puke bucket. He can pronounce the names of his medications and tell you what each and every one of them will do for him (how they help) and what they will do to him (how they will make him feel). He wants to be a doctor some day to "help other kids feel better too". Right now he is doing well. He is in maintenance, the "easy" part of treatment. He goes in for treatment once a month instead of every week. His lumbar punctures (a very large needle going into my baby's very small spine to deliver chemotherapy straight into his cerebral spinal fluid as a precautionary measure against chemo entering his brain) have reduced in frequency from several times a month to once a month to their current status of every three months. He knows "the drill" of doctors visits and what is going to happen if he gets a germ that invades his very compromised immune system. He knows to avoid people who are sick or else he'll end up in the hospital for a week with something that gave another person the sniffles for a day. Through it all he has remained our bright, precocious child who is stronger than I am every going to be. He has a giggle that will make you laugh, a smile that just beams, and a sarcastic sense of humor that is just hilarious. This kid is going to move mountains when he is grown...we have faith he will make it to those mountains and they shall quake before him. He is a "cancer kid". He is smart. He is tenacious, loving, and kind. And some day he is going to be furious that children's cancer receives a fraction of the funding that it should. Please help. Not all kids are as lucky as he to have made it this far into treatment. No child should ever have cancer.

The Childhood Cancer Ripple Effect

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