CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Bryce Long. Three years old. Indian Trail. Fighting acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Give a warm welcome to this happy little boy, he's the newest one of our amazing #MollysKids.
"Last October, Bryce woke up in horrible pain in his legs," says mom Sheila. "His joints were swollen. He couldn't walk at all. After a trip to the ER and a gazillion tests, we were told what absolutely no parents want to hear."
Predictably, the diagnosis completely blindsided their family. Bryce and his twin brother (they're fraternal) were born as preemies and lived in NICU for a month. Both had been healthy ever since.
The day after diagnosis, Bryce started chemo. An intense 29 days to push him into remission. It didn't work. Remission was not achieved.
"It was like hearing the diagnosis all over again," said Sheila. "So, they amped up the chemo and gave bigger, more terrifying words. We were terrified. But it worked. After these added treatments, he went into remission."
The family rejoiced.
"I never thought in a million years that Jarrett and I would write you about our son," Sheila said. "I read the posts and feel for the families, but never once considered it would happen to us."
Bryce, known as "The Little Hulk," still has a long battle for at least the next three years.
"He's the strongest kid I've ever known," his mom said. "He doesn't know how he'll wake up feeling, but pushes through each day with incredible strength and a sweet personality."
Bryce and his twin brother, Davis, also have an older sister, Katie.
Sheila says they'll soon get Davis tested for leukemia as well. It's more common for identical twins, but the risk of a fraternal twin is higher than a normal sibling.
"We are so grateful and humbled by the outpouring of love and support from our community here in Indian Trail," she said. "It's weird to know your child has cancer and consider yourself 'lucky,' but we have incredible care and friends and family who love our little boy."
We're thrilled to meet you Bryce. Your smile is contagious.
**Editor's note: This is about one of #MollysKids, 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. Find this story and updates on all #MollysKids here.