On April 15, 2020 Buddy was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Were told to rush Buddy to Banner UMC to be admitted for treatment. Due to COVID-19 only one parent could be with him. My husband told me I would be the one to stay with Buddy since I worked in the medical field and understood. He told me to be strong and keep in contact with him every time I had an update. Tears ran down his face as he drove away.
After a series of tests, we met with the pediatric oncology team. We were told he would be in the hospital 3-4 weeks and would require 3 years of treatment. While in the hospital Buddy had to undergo port placement and lumbar puncture. The results of the lumbar punctures came back positive, and they had to do chemo injections in his spine. Buddy’s genetics tests indicated that the leukemia would require a more aggressive treatment plan.
During the first week of maintenance Buddy relapsed and started reinduction of chemotherapy. Two weeks later Buddy became septic and was very ill. He developed necrotizing fasciitis in his lower right leg. The trauma team was not sure if they would be able to save Buddy’s leg. Buddy had to undergo eight surgeries and by the grace of God his leg was saved. Buddy still does not have full mobility due to a huge portion of his calf muscle being removed. We hope and pray within time Buddy heals and gets full mobility back. Buddy was in the hospital for almost three months battling the infection and was unable to participate in his high school graduation. This was very devastating.
Two months after discharge Buddy woke up one morning and had blurred vision, droopiness of his left eye and right cheek. We contacted the hospital and suspected Buddy had had a stroke. After CT and MRI it was determined that the Leukemia was back, this time in his facial and optic nerves. He was then turned over to the Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) team. Buddy underwent radiation and chemo treatment to prepare him for CAR-T cell therapy. This was a bridge to bone marrow transplant. Buddy has been in remission since.
On January 13th, 2022 Buddy was admitted to prepare for bone marrow transplant which will take place on January 20th, 2022. Buddy’s sister Megan was a 100% match for him!!!
Since being diagnosed Buddy has been such a trooper and has had such a positive attitude. Losing his hair was not a big concern for him. He has accepted the loss of his hair which is growing back. Buddy has a long road ahead and we know at the end he will win this battle. All the prayers and support he’s received has helped him to get through this. God bless!