My best friend’s son, Koby, is your average eight-year-old. He lives with his parents, sister and two brothers, one of which is his twin.  He loves to play sports (soccer and basketball) for the local church youth organization, play video games, play with Legos and other toys with his siblings, and spend time with his grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.  Koby is also an A/B student at school and is very loving and full of life. This summer, his world and his family’s world were changed forever with his diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), which is a fast growing form of cancer of the blood and bone marrow.

    Koby was on a family trip to Florida in early June 2017 when he was bitten by what is thought to be a spider.  Koby usually reacts to bug bites that require him to be treated with antibiotics because his bite area gets swollen to the size of a plum.  This happened on the trip, and the family took him to a doctor who put him on antibiotics.  The bite healed and the family finished their wonderful trip.  Koby has then bitten again two weeks later with the same affect. This time the bite took a little over a week to fully heal instead of the standard three days.  After the bite healed, Koby started to have migraine headaches.  These headaches were so bad they woke him up at night.  He was taken to the doctor on a Monday and was diagnosed with a virus (possibly meningitis).  The headache slowly lessened throughout the week until Friday morning when his aunt noticed his face was drooping on his left side before going swimming with his siblings.  He was taken to the hospital and was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy.  Koby was then referred to a neurologist.  During the week, just before the neurologist appointment, Koby was also having minor headaches and low fevers.  Koby visited the neurologist on Friday and was scheduled to take a MRI.  After the neurologist appointment, Koby visited his pediatrician who decided to check his blood work.  When his pediatrician got the results of the blood work later that day, she sent Koby to the hospital for more blood work and other tests.  Those tests confirmed that Koby’s blood levels were low.  Koby was given an appointment first thing the next Monday morning with a pediatric hematology and oncology doctor.  With more blood tests Monday morning, and blood marrow tests on Tuesday, the doctor confirmed that Koby had leukemia on July 18, 2017.

    Koby’s story starts with bug bites that lead to AML. Why the bug bites? The bites and the reoccurring sicknesses gave his doctor some clues that maybe something more was going on, like a disease caused by a bug bite.  The testing found cancer early (possibly three weeks in), and Koby was quickly given his first treatment.  Koby is now going down the long and unknown road to curing this awful disease.  He is no longer allowed to play sports, go to school, or even play outside for most of his treatments.  When he is not in the hospital getting chemotherapy, he is at home recovering from the chemotherapy and its side effects.  Koby’s family is now trying to be with him in the hospital always, going to work, keeping the house clean to avoid him getting sick (if his temperature spikes to 100.5 he is admitted to the hospital for at least 72 hours), helping with the kid’s homework and spending a little quality time with Koby’s sister and brothers.  They are also trying to deal with other personal issues such as family health and growing medical expenses (around $5000 per month in which the doctors told the family it would be at least six months of treatment).  Koby’s siblings have been stricken by this as well. They are sad at times and worried about their brother, especially his twin who has never attended school without his brother.  Koby’s school has stepped in and put the burden upon themselves to educate Koby at home or the hospital so that he will be on the same educational level as his twin brother.  They are also providing mental support to the other children about their brother’s situation. Koby has a great family that is being held together through this challenging time by their strong faith and love for God, and the love and support of their family, friends, and community.  This disease has challenged the Moczygemba’s family in more ways than one.  Any donation will be greatly appreciated.  If you are unable to donate please share it.   

Thank you for taking the time to read this and God Bless,
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Organizer and beneficiary

Suzanne Ricketts Price 
San Antonio, TX
Carolina Moczygemba 

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