We all have experienced an event in our lives that has knocked us for a loop. Life is hard for many people - tragedies happen, and we have become accustomed to watching and hearing about those tragedies without it hitting us personally. But then the unthinkable happens, it hits home to someone we love, and all of a sudden we are experiencing that which we have watched before with someone else. We are never really ready for the day when the "unthinkable" happens because there is no way to prepare for some the things that are truly unthinkable.
Sunday night, my niece took her young son to the hospital because he had a fever which even with medication was not going down. The hospital began running some tests, and they discovered that his blood count was very low. More tests followed overnight and before noon on Monday my niece Alanna and her son were being air-ambulanced to Vancouver Children's Hospital several hundred miles away.
Before they left the hospital in Kelowna, he was given a blood transfusion. When he arrived in Vancouver he had two more, and a bone marrow tap to test for leukemia. The unthinkable had already happened, but no one knew it, until late yesterday afternoon.
Thomas has been diagnosed with ALL - Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He had his first chemo treatment yesterday and will continue treatment for 3 years. The next 6-8 months of treatment will be very intense, and he will not be able to return home to his family and his life anytime in the foreseeable future. Even when he is not receiving chemo, he will have to stay in the Vancouver area close to the hospital.
Thomas was born during a time in my life when my future was very uncertain. I had just been diagnosed with breast cancer, had a mastectomy and was waiting to find out what treatments I would have to have. Along came Thomas, and thanks to my incredible loving niece who bombarded my inbox with pictures and stories of her new baby, Thomas became my focus through a very difficult time.
This sweet little face got me through the worst days of my life, and in my heart he became my Hope Baby!
Thomas is now 9 yrs old, he is a normal active child. He loves hockey, his dog Buddy, his brother and sister and all his family.
He is sweet, kind, good, and now he is also brave.
Children have a spirit that adults no longer possess. They can endure much more than we believe they can - and they can become our heros... Thomas will always be my Hope Baby, but now he is also my Hero.
It will not be an easy three years for Thomas or his family. I cannot even imagine the trials this family will go through - but they have a lot of love behind them with faithful family and friends. My niece is a strong, beautiful an incredible woman and mother - she will move through this journey like she does with everything else she has faced in her life - with grace, love, strength and determination.
And when she falters - we will be there to pick her up, hold her close in our arms and move her along in the right direction.
Please keep my little Hope Baby and Hero in your hearts and prayers.
A go-fund-me has been started to help support Thomas' fight against leukemia. If you wish to help please click on the link below. Any and all support is greatly appreciated.