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The Incredible Holt

$40,572 of $60,000 goal

Raised by 974 people in 8 months
Holt Price is a spunky, smart and beautiful three year old boy.  He loves the Hulk, superheroes, PJ Masks, music,  and Jesus with his whole little heart.  He is a little boy with a precious spirit that touches everyone he meets.  2018 has been an uphill battle for this little warrior.

On Valentine's Day, he was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a very rare form of eye cancer.  But, after 5 weeks of tests and observations, it was determined that Holt did not have retinoblastoma,  but instead,  an inflammatory disease called Scleritis. The doctors were unsure of the cause of the Scleritis and were concerned that it could possibly be an autoimmune disease.

Four months after the Scleritis diagnosis, Holt’s family began to notice that the left side of his face was swollen and not responding to regular, over the counter treatments. After eliminating Scleritis as the potential cause, Holt was referred to the ENT team at UTSW for more specific care. The doctors at UTSW determined that  a mass in Holt’s cheek was the source of the swelling.  After multiple biopsies, the doctors have determined that Holt has a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma called Anaplastic Large T-Cell lymphoma.

We welcome all prayer warriors to aid in lifting up Holt and their entire family as they continue to search for answers and complete healing for their precious boy. #theincredibleholt
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Holt has been diagnosed with Anaplastic Large T-Cell lymphoma that is alkon positive.

We are heartbroken that it has turned out to be cancer after all, but that doesn't change the fact we still have hope for Holt to be restored and for God to continue to use our lives for something much bigger than we could ever imagine.

I received a call Monday morning from the oncology department requesting we come in ASAP. We threw on clothes, Jeff was able to leave work, and we checked in at 11:30. God sure heard our cries to him about being able to see someone soon to try and get more answers.

Going in we were hoping to find out the following two questions:
1. Is the lymphoma anywhere else in Holt's body?
2. What stage are we dealing with?

We left without answers to our two burning questions. We did however leave with a lot more information to piece together about this cancer, Holt's history, and what our next steps are in order to answer those two questions and start Holt on a road to healing.

I am going to bullet point what we have learned in an effort to keep this a succinct as possible.

-There are two types of lymphoma: Hodgkin's Lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. This is one of the Non-Hodgkin's types of lymphoma. It is a rare type of cancer although not completely unheard of.
-Classifying a cancer's "stage" in children is highly dependent upon whether the cancer has spread or not. Once we receive results this coming Monday from the imaging after Holt's head MRI and PET scan yesterday, we should know what stage it is.
-This coming Tuesday, Holt will have surgery at 8:15AM to place his port and take bone marrow/spinal fluid for testing. While he is under he will receive a round of chemo to his spine. Whether the lymphoma is present in his spinal fluid or not, they give all lymphoma patients one round of chemo to this area as a precautionary measure.
-Once he wakes and is stable, he will receive his first chemo treatment. We will spend the night in the hospital Tuesday night and he will receive a second dose of chemo sometime Wednesday. We should be released sometime Wednesday, barring no complications.
-We can anticipate Holt receiving chemo for a minimum of 6 months, although it could potentially be longer if the cancer is found anywhere else in the body in addition to his face.
-This type of cancer is typically (we have learned that this is arguably an oncologist's favorite word when they don't have a cut and dry answer) very responsive to chemo and typically has a favorable cure rate. *Out of everything we learned so far, we are choosing to hold on to this sentence more than anything else. We are praying in Jesus' holy name that this is indeed true and Holt will be just fine soon. Not soon enough for our liking. But soon all the same.*
-We looked at the MRI from a couple of weeks ago (before our first biopsy) as well as the MRI from February in PA. The oncologist said that because she now knows what Holt's diagnosis is, when she looks at the MRI from PA, that *maybe*(???) she can see some slight thickening on Holt's left sinus wall (???). Although she said if it was her looking at the imaging back in February she would have said she believed it looked normal as well. The only reason she "sees" something now is because she knows how this story has developed.
-The new MRI shows aggressive destruction to Holt's orbital bone as well as his jaw meaning they still believe this to be inoperable. She said in order to remove enough compromised bone Holt would be severely disfigured and since they know this type of lymphoma typically (there's that word again) responds to chemo, there is no reason to cut it out only to find that it has spread somewhere else.
-This type of cancer responds to steroids.
-Although we will never truly know, it is assumed that the scleritis was induced by lymphoma as this type of lymphoma is known for being "sneaky" and can present itself in several different ways before actually appearing as what it truly is.
-We can safely assume that Holt's had this lymphoma since before January 2018 since that is when the first outward signs that something was wrong began appearing. Since it responds to steroids, it makes sense that the scleritis went away, the lymphoma was knocked down but not out, and then came back with a vengeance.
-This type of cancer is very destructive although typically (yeah, we know) slow moving.
-This type of cancer is typically (sigh) not hereditary or genetic when there isn't a family history of cancer so it seems like we don't have to be concerned about our baby (we are 29 weeks now) having this as well.
-While we're on the subject of me being pregnant, a HUGE answered prayer we found out today is that none of the chemo Holt will receive will be dangerous to either me or the baby so Holt and I will not have to be separated at any time for the baby's safety during his treatments. I teared up when she said that.
-Holt will lose his hair although it will grow back. I couldn't help it, I had to ask about his beautiful eyelashes. She said there is actually a chance he won't lose them although she can't say for sure. For some reason, boys have a more likely chance to keep their eyebrows and eyelashes than girls. Selfishly I hope he doesn't lose his eyelashes. I can picture him bald, I cannot picture him without his lashes.

There are some other pieces of information we learned but until we know if it has spread, none of it matters.

So here are our prayers at this time:
-Thank God for a diagnosis.
-Thank God for the doctors that have already poured their hearts and minds in to Holt's care.
-Thank God for this diagnosis being one that typically (they even have me saying it now...) responds well to chemo and has a favorable cure rate.
-Pray that the doctors that have been assigned to Holt are capable and knowledgeable.
-Pray that this is ONLY IN HOLT'S CHEEK AND NOWHERE ELSE IN HIS LITTLE BODY.
-Pray that this is classified as stage 1.
-Pray for Holt as he is going to go through some really confusing and hard things in the near future.
-Pray for us as we try and explain what is happening to him when he asks.
-Pray that he will be completely healed and soon.

Now I feel like we know the name of our battle: anaplastic large t-cell lymphoma. We are ready to fight this by name and claim Jesus to be bigger than this horrible disease. We know the battle will be hard. So hard. Unimaginably hard. But if we are in the battle, that means that triumph is on its way and there is harvest to be had on the other side of this when we get the joyous news that Holt is cancer free. We believe that this will happen. We HAVE to believe that this will happen.

You've all been so faithful to pray with us until now. We welcome you to continue to pray and invite others to pray as we move in to the battle.

Alden and Jeff
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Sweet Holt has now faced a possible cancer diagnosis twice in 2018. The first one was back in February where he was diagnosed with retinoblastoma although God showed up in a mighty way and it was determined that Holt didn’t have cancer after all but an inflammatory disease called scleritis.

4 months after the Scleritis was cleared from his eye, his parents noticed that the left side of his face was swollen and not responding to over the counter treatments. After being referred to the ENT team at UTSW, a mass has been discovered in Holt’s cheek and they are working to determine what type of mass this is. At this time the three potential causes that are being considered are: cancer, tumor (cancerous or benign), or an inflammatory disease.

It is our desire that during this extremely difficult time for their family, they can focus on precious Holt and not worry about the financial toll a diagnosis like this can bring. In addition to financial assistance, we welcome and are so thankful for all prayer warriors willing to aid in lifting up Holt and his family during their difficult journey with cancer.
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