Honored Kid

Griffin M.

Age 16
Griffin M. Kid Photo

Location

Skokie, IL, US

Diagnosis

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)

Date of Diagnosis

August 2020

Status

In treatment

Treated At

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital

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My Story

Our son, Griffin is a 16 yr old cancer survivor 3 times over. His journey began at age 2 1/2 when he developed sudden pain in his legs so severe he stopped walking. His pediatrician sent him to the emergency room. Rather than finding a fracture or bone bruise, doctors quickly diagnosed him with acute leukemia. He endured almost 4 years of chemotherapy at Childrens Memorial Hospital (now Lurie Childrens) before his oncologists notified him that he was cured. Medical teams followed him closely for 9.5 years without any abnormalities, until Griffin noticed an unusual lump under his skin. Lurie Childrens Hospital quickly identified a recurrence of his blood cancer in August 2020, just when Griffin and his triplet siblings were about to begin their freshman year of high school. Unfortunately, Griffin became very ill from his chemotherapy induction. During this very dangerous time, he fell into a coma from COVID-19 and was critically ill for over 2 weeks in the PICU. Griffin pulled through and eventually went into remission. He faced a second relapse during his second month in maintenance. Because he failed all of the usual treatments for childhood leukemia, Griffin transferred his care to the stem cell transplant oncology team. In late 2021, he underwent a cutting-edge treatment called CAR-T, harvesting his healthy cells and weaponizing them to fight against his leukemia cells. He also endured whole body radiation and high dose chemotherapy at the same time. These treatments were followed by a stem cell transplant from his triplet sister, Kailey on January 5, 2022. Thankfully, Griffin’s transplant appears to be taking hold. His team said that “his 3rd time’s the charm” as he slowly recovered. Recently discharged from hospital and transferred to Ronald McDonald House. Griffin visits the oncology clinic 3 times a week for various tests, infusions and medication management. Griffin cannot wait until he can return home to be with his family! Presently Griffin will continue to be considered severely immunocompromised for 2 more years until his body can fully embrace the engrafted stem cell transplant. The on going world wide pandemic Has not made this journey any easier. It was with tremendous outpouring of love, support & prayers from family, friends & community that Griffin endured & fought & continues to hold the line. Griffin has been so brave & is truly a hero. Please consider donating and helping heroes like our son, Griffin Maks.

The Childhood Cancer Ripple Effect

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