Childhood Leukemia. Never Lose Hope.

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Five weeks after our son, Gavin, turned 6 and started kindergarten, he was diagnosed with T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Our hearts shattered. Boys with leukemia have to undergo 3 years of treatment. We have finally made it to the halfway point, but financially we have suffered. Jeff and I work full time. We lose many hours taking Gavin to the clinic for chemotherapy, procedures, and his many hospitalizations. We have fallen behind, but we choose to focus on Gavin, and do our best to try to keep up with bills. Gavin is our
 number 1 priority. Gavin is doing well. He has about 2 good weeks out of a month. Every 4 weeks (for the next year and a half) he gets a chemotherapy drug that causes fatigue, nausea, and severe pain in his legs and back. And just as he recovers from it, he has to get another dose. Once every 3 months he gets a spinal tap where they put chemotherapy in his spinal fluid, so his brain is bathed in chemotherapy to keep leukemia cells from hiding in his brain. He takes chemo pills and anti-nausea pills everyday. Three times a day, he gets a medicine to help with nerve damage in his legs and feet caused by one of the many chemo drugs. He has to take antibiotics every single weekend, and high dose prednisone for 5 days a month. He's 7 now, and has been through more than most adults. I could go on and on in more detail, but it's not fun to hear about. And, he just wants to be a normal kid. Gavin is our hero, our Superman, our Ironman, our Hulk. I wish I could be half as brave as he is. A coworker of mine told me about this site, and we thought we would give it a try. The stability of our home is the one thing the kids need, since many other aspects of life are not that stable right now. When Gavin gets a fever, he is admitted to the hospital, our family is split, and hours of work are missed. But, I promised Gavin that he will never ever be alone. We are blessed to have family and friends who can help sit with Gavin, so he's not alone. Going to work when my baby is sick in the hospital is very tough. We are doing the best we can. Have we made mistakes? You bet! Have we learned from them? I pray so. I'm a nurse, and my husband works in a warehouse. We live in a modest duplex home with 3 children. I drive a 2005 mini-van, and my husband's vehicle is a 1998. We don't have expensive luxuries, or go on big vacations. We've never been to Disney, and my children have never flown on a plane. And, it's ok. We're happy with our lives. I've worked my whole life for everything I have. Anyone who knows us, knows that. We're going through the biggest challenge of our lives right now. I have completely opened up my eyes, ears, and heart to God. I want to learn whatever lesson He needs me to learn right now. I stop and litterally smell the roses with my children. We lay in the grass and make shapes out of the clouds. We count our blessings everyday. I try to hear God's whispers, and follow his direction everyday. Maybe Kerry gave me this information for a reason. Our goal is to pay off my student loans which will save us $200 a month, and to get caught up on some bills. It's hard to accept help from others. I'd rather be the one helping. When people say "what can I do for you?"... I would never ask for money. Here's the perfect way to help us out if you can. Every single dollar is appreciated. Thank you, Jeff, Cindy, and children

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Organizer

Cindy Lupp Howe 
Organizer
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