Mike Arthur is battling leukemia—for the second time. Diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia at age 10, Mike had been cancer free for 16 months when he suddenly relapsed and had to begin treatment again. This time it was acute lymphoblastic leukemia. A natural leader and gifted athlete, Mike loves hockey, but the steroids and chemo are eating away his bone and muscle mass. With dangerously brittle bones, sports of any kind are off limits to Mike.
My journey with cancer began in April 2001. At first, there were very few signs that there was anything wrong with me. But one thing my mom and dad noticed was that I had trouble sitting upright in my car seat. Apparently, if the car seat wasn’t angled just right, my legs would fall asleep and I would start screaming. Mom and Dad thought this was a bit weird but they thought, “He’s two and can be a bit impossible.”
Some computer problems in the Kids Cancer Care office inspired a few staff to make some calm down jars and remember that sometimes you need to just take a step back, breath, and watch the glitter swirl!
At first, the doctors believed she was having some digestive problems and sent her for a variety of tests, but all the tests they ran came back indicating that nothing was wrong. Seeing as Maddie was just five years old, the doctors then started to consider that maybe her symptoms were more emotional and that maybe she was just trying to get our attention.
Aria began facing serious health issues the summer of 2016, at 10 months old. She was not gaining weight and refusing to eat solid foods. We worked with our family doctor, pediatrician, occupational therapists, dietitians and an allergist to try determine the cause. She was diagnosed as “Failure to Thrive” on November 7, 2016 by a pediatric GI specialist, in addition to discovering that her liver was enlarged.