Right this second, 4-year-old Jake Leatherman was supposed to be in pre-op for a bone marrow transplant. He’s not. He got a cold. You can’t get a transplant if you have an added virus. Late last night his mom emailed to say the transplant was postponed indefinitely.
“Hopefully he’ll have better counts next week so we can get back on the schedule,” she said. “Wish us luck!”
Wish us luck.
Wish them luck?
But that’s the truth. Luck is what many families with kids fighting cancer say they want. You hear it all the time.
“Maybe we’ll get lucky and tomorrow will be a good day.”
“Maybe we’ll get lucky this new poison we’re pushing into my baby’s body will actually work.”
“Oh! How lucky! A clinical trial MIGHT come up that MIGHT accept my child and MIGHT rip our world upside down for a chance that it MIGHT save them!”
I hate how cancer makes a family feel like one day they just got really UN-lucky. It seems so unfair.
I apologize. I got sidetracked. Stood on a bit of a soap box.
I just hate it all. I hate that Jake and his family thought maybe today would be the day to take a step forward, and something as small as a simple common cold – something you and I could have and it wouldn’t make one iota of a difference in our day – derails Jake fully.
Jake is 4. He lives in Hickory.
Both his mom and aunt were emailing asking if he could be one of #MollysKids featured in September, not knowing the other was reaching out as well. Goes to show the love that surrounds this little boy.
You might remember Jake from July when he was on his way to the Children's Hospital of Philadlephia to fight juvenile myelomoncytic leukemia (JMML). I wrote about it here >> http://tinyurl.com/oawljdq.
Tests showed a bone marrow transplant was his only hope.
Since then, Jake has had the high doses of chemo before such a transplant can be done. They thought today was it.
“We’re ready,” his mom Crystal told me two weeks ago. “It has been a scary journey so far, but he’s doing really well.”
You can follow Jake on his Facebook page, Team Jake. His church keeps it updated.
Pediatric cancer needs research, funding and, mostly, a cure.
September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness (ACTION) Month. Do what you can. Share these stories. Talk with your friends and neighbors about a child you might know. Donate your time, money or heart to any one of the many worthy causes this month.
Awareness hopefully creates ACTION.
Maybe if we have enough ACTION, we won’t have moms of beautiful 4-year-olds hoping on a wing and a pray for a little luck.
**Editor’s note: 30 kids. 30 days. 30 stories. This is about one of #MollysKids in the month of September, children WBTV Anchor Molly Grantham follows closely on her Facebook page. It was first published there – which is why it’s written in a personal way. For years Molly has followed hundreds of kids with uphill medical battles. During Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, she features one a day. Thirty total. Find this story and updates on all #MollysKids here.**