Honored Kid

Ryan W.

Age 9
Ryan W. Kid Photo

Location

St. Louis, MO, US

Diagnosis

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)

Date of Diagnosis

July 2017

Status

In maintenance

Treated At

St. Louis Children's Hospital

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My Story

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. Ryan was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) on July 19th, 2017, 11 days before his 5th birthday. For several weeks before diagnosis he had frequent low grade fevers and on and off joint pain. After being on antibiotics for a couple of weeks, visits to his pediatrician, urgent care, and the E.R. It was the excruciating pain in his foot that made the Doctors dig a little deeper into his symptoms. In a matter of minutes our entire lives changed. We went from family vacations and summer fun to living in the hospital with him, while his 2 older sisters had to move in with Grandma and Grandpa so that our time and attention could be focused on how to get our son better. Life as we knew it was over, this was our new normal. Doctors, chemo, countless oral medications, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and he was not able to attend school in the fall, I had to take a leave of absence from teaching so I could focus on Ryan and his treatment schedules. Meanwhile, trying to not disrupt my daughters lives too much. We still wanted them to understand their role in the family and how important they are to us. Ryan is now 6 months into treatment and is fighting with the strength of the superheroes he loves so much. It is hard to believe that he can still smile and be positive after 35 days in hospital, 17 lumbar punctures, 28 rounds of chemo, 2 blood transfusions, a platelet transfusion, in home nursing, countless blood draws and "pokes", dehydration, fevers, and hair loss. He still has 2.5 years of treatment but he is now entering the maintenance phase that will be much easier for his little body to tolerate. He has an amazing imagination and personality that, thank goodness,  hasn't been lost during all of this.  He is an inspiration to us and his sisters, and we try not to take anything for granted anymore.

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