Honored Kid

Ronnie F.

Age 10
Ronnie F. Kid Photo

Location

Sparrows Point, MD, US

Diagnosis

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)

Date of Diagnosis

August 2018

Status

In maintenance

Treated At

Johns Hopkins Children's Center

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My Story

My name is Ronnie, I was diagnosed with Leukemia Aug 2018.  Before I was diagnosed I was the typical boy. I loved to ride bikes with my sister, I just started to play football with the local rec. I enjoyed school. I was on top of the world. I had a few football practices under my belt before I started not to feel so good. My family and I took a short vacation to Ocean City MD. I tried to hard to enjoy my time at the beach. I was having a hard time breathing and walking was to much for me, during the night I started to have night sweats. As much as my parents asked if I was OK all I would say is yeah I'm good. We came home on Sunday, I was exhausted.  Monday morning, I went to camp. It was so neat to be so close to all the players, to watch them practice. I again stated to not feel good. Both my Mom and Dad asked me several more times are you sure you are OK?  My answer stayed the same.  Dad suggested that Mom make me a Doctors appointment. The following days were some of the hardest days I have had. Mom ended up taking me to the hospital because I was having such a hard time breathing, and I still had hardly eaten. They figured something was wrong but none of us were prepared for what was to come. The doctor at the emergency room told my mom that they could not treat me at the local hospital and that I needed to be transported to the closest Children's Hospital. Upon arrival to John Hopkins Children Center, I was taken to the PICU.  There were so many Doctors and Nurses waiting to take care of me. I was severely dehydrated to the point that they couldn't get an IV in my arm.  I had to go through many test. The one I hated the most was the echocaridogram that they did, it was so uncomfortable. Once that was over they had to move me to a different room to do a procedure because I had a lot of fluid around my heart and a very large mass in my chest, which is why I had such a hard time breathing. As the doctors started they procedure to drain the fluid from around my heart, the head nurse asked my parents if she could speak with them.  They gave me lots of love and left the room, and the nurse proceeded to tell my Mom and Dad that they contacted the Oncology Doctors because they were unsure if I had Leukemia or Lymphoma. The next few hours were the hardest hours for my family. They met with the Oncologist who confirmed that I have T Cell Acute lymphoblastic leukemia.  I received my first dose of Chemotherapy later that night. I spent the next 7 days at John Hopkins Children Center, where I learned what Leukemia was and that I would have to be on treatment for the next 3 1/2 years. The beginning was difficult, some of the medications I am required to take made it difficult to walk, even short distances from my living room to the bedroom became a task. I used a wheelchair when we went out. I have had a few complication other than just walking. In December of 2018 I became very sick again, it was found that I had an infection in my port(device in my chest to receive chemo) I had to start a harsh antibiotic. I was in the hospital from Dec 5- 24, I lost a lot of weight again, and  had to have my port removed and a new one placed. I spent a few other weeks in the hospital as well in the spring for a different infection. This has been a tough road but I finally made it through the hard part of treatment and am now in the Maintenance phase. I now have to take oral chemo daily and go to Hopkins once a month for IV chemo. I have a pretty amazing family that has stuck by my side and helped me through some hard days. I will finish with my treatment in Jan 2022. 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.

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