September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. At PCFLV, we are committed to spreading the GOLD all year long. However, in September, we truly make it our mission. 30 Days, 30 Stories celebrates the children we know and love and the brave battles they fight and have fought, with their families by their sides. In celebrating these beautiful children and their stories, we hope to inspire you to join us in our mission to SPREAD THE GOLD in September and all year long!
Michael was born on July 4, 2012 at Lehigh Valley Hospital. A 6lb 14oz, 22 inch-long HEALTHY baby boy. In late January 2015, Michael started with a fever. On Monday, February 16, 2015 The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia diagnosed him with Leukemia.
Within hours, Michael was getting an EKG, an EEG and chest x-rays to make sure he was well enough for surgery and port placement the next day. They started lines in both his arms and then admitted him to the Oncology floor. The next day, he went into surgery where he had a bone marrow aspiration, port placement and a spinal tap. It was confirmed that he had pre-b cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and we later found out that he had standard risk. My son was only 2.
We spent the next four weeks as residents of CHOP oncology. Michael has only been inpatient one other time since he was first diagnosed. It was for two weeks in April/May 2015. Michael came down with pneumonia. His ANC (measure of his immune system) dropped to zero and he needed a blood transfusion because his hemoglobin dropped to 6.7. When Michael gets a fever, 99.9% of the time it's in the middle of the night. Most of the time we are given antibiotics and sent home. Michael has endured many bone marrow aspirations, spinal taps, chemo drips, sedation, chemo shots given at home, mouth sores, weight gain, weight loss, feeding tube, hair loss, steroids, constipation almost daily, pain in his bones, and numerous medications daily. At one point, he couldn't even walk or go up the stairs. Due to the amount of liquid medicine he was being given, he started vomiting so his dad taught him to swallow pills at 2 years old.
Today Michael is 4 years old. He started Pre-K this year and he loves it. His older brother Justin started 6th grade and his younger brother, Johnathan was 1 on August 26th. Michael will be in treatment until Late 2018 depending on how well he continues on treatment. We are happy and feel so blessed for every day we have with Michael.
-written by Michael's mom, Andrea