On November 5th, 2004, my son Hunter was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He was only 4 ½ years old at the time. I still remember (like it was just yesterday) the day we found out the terrible news, my son and I were in the Doctor's office, waiting to go over the results of tests taken the day before. When the Doctor finally came in and explained the test results to me, my heart felt like it just stopped beating and all I could do was cry. Hunter was on my lap, and when he saw his Mommy sobbing, he was scared and began to cry too. So at that very moment, I immediately realized that my son was going to look to me for his strength, security, and hope. Whether it was with his Dad or with me, I knew we had to be strong for him. So, from that point forward, we decided to make this a positive situation for my son, to give him a fighting chance of survival.
The first 4-6 months following Hunter's diagnosis, we were in and out of the hospital on a recurring basis. But soon after this initial period, it started becoming more manageable, and we were slowly able to adjust to these life-changing events. I think what really helped in this situation was the fact that both his Dad and I continued to treat both Hunter and his brother Grant in a "normal" way. We tried in every way to make sure Hunter didn't feel different or somehow less than others. Amazingly, Hunter is now 6 ½ years old, and he has never questioned or worried about what will happen to him in the future. He has played his first year of baseball, his first season of soccer, and we just recently signed him up for basketball. He absolutely loves to play sports; and best of all, we love watching him participate and enjoy himself with all the other kids. We are so happy to report, his last treatment will be March 2nd 2008. That will definitely be a day of celebration for us!
Looking back now, I know in my heart that God held our hands throughout the entire period of my son's sickness. He was with us every step of the way and we know, with confidence, He always will be. Hunter thanks God for healing him. Out of the worry, pain, and uncertainty of this sickness, we can now testify that there have been many positive impacts to our family. The Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation (TBCF) has been a true blessing for my family, not only for Hunter, but for our son Grant as well. I could not have asked for a better atmosphere for my children to grow up in, to just "be kids" in, and really to just have the time of their lives! TBCF sincerely treats us like their family, and I am so grateful for them. We thank God for those that provide their heart-felt services to this God-sent organization.