Boy & Girl of the Year
Washington/Alaska's 2015 Boy & Girl of the Year
Boy of the Year
Evan is a happy, energetic, creative 8 year old. Yet, exactly one week before he turned 2, he was diagnosed with T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. A couple of weeks prior to his diagnosis, his mother noticed enlarged lymph nodes in Evan's neck and mentioned them to his pediatrician. Since Evan had not been acting tired or running a fever, the family was told that he was fighting a mild virus. But his mother felt that something was not right. Fortunately, Evan's doctor said she had no problem ordering a "peace of mind blood test" to assure the family that everything was normal. Two days later Evan went to Children's Hospital for the blood draw and the family waited for the call saying everything was fine.
Instead, they got the call that changed their lives forever. Evan was taken directly to the ER where he had 3 spinal taps and a bone marrow aspiration. He was admitted to the hospital that evening and the family was told that Evan did not have the more common B-lineage ALL, but T-cell ALL. A diagnosis of T-cell ALL automatically put Evan into the high rish category and because T-cell ALL is more rare, there were no studies being conducted at the time that he could join or benefit from.
Evan began chemotherapy the next day and active treatment lasted for a year. Just before entering maintenance therapy, Evan had to have 10 days of radiation to his brain, as well as 32 spinal taps to inject chemotherapy. Evan's total treatment lasted 3 years, 3 months, and nearly 3 weeks. He has now been off treatment just over 2.5 years and is enjoying school, friends, sports, and his new puppy.
Evan and his family are very grateful to LLS and all of its supporters. They want to thank you for giving them hope and helping them fight back against all blood cancers.
Girl of the Year
In the Spring of 2012, a normally energetic 3-year-old Lucy started to slow down. She had no energy for skipping with her Daddy or playing at the park. She just wanted to sit, cuddle, and watch her brothers & sisters play. It was strange when she started crying every time she had to go up (or down) a stairway. On June 22, 2012, Lucy was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. After the first phase of treatment, doctors confirmed that Lucy was not in remission yet and was moved from the Standard Plan to High-Risk/Slow Responder, which meant longer durations of treatments, more meds at higher doses, and testing the other children in the family to see if they were potential matches for bone marrow transplant. Thankfully, Lucy did not need the transplant, though she still lost all her hair, appetite, had to have a feeding tube, and endured months away from her home and family.
Throughout this journey, her happy, giving attitude has been an inspiration to us. She laughs and jokes about how many bowls of Cheerios she eats when she's on steroids. She always wants to stop at the hospital gift shop to buy balloons for kids in the cancer wing, "I know it would make them smile, Mommy". She prays for the babies that she sees in the waiting room. Last September, Lucy was excited to have "Lucy's Lemonade Stand" making money to "help my friends." She's also excited to be starting kindergarten this year and finishing her maintenance treatments before her 6th birthday in October. She says that a world without cancer would look like "a sunny day with lots of balloons." The family is so thankful for LLS and all those who have helped them (and other families) fight this battle.