Andrew is my 8 year old first born and our only boy with a whole ‘lot of character who has never met a stranger. Andrew is known to light up any room and put a smile on everyone’s faces. An active child, Andrew started playing soccer at the age of two-and-half, followed by gymnastics and baseball. In November of 2018, he decided he also wanted to give basketball a try.
During basketball practice, I noticed that he was out of breath and completely exhausted. Concerned, I made an appointment with the pediatrician who told me it was just Andrew’s asthma acting up. Something just wasn’t right and i had to do something about it, following my trusty mother’s intuition, I just REALLY felt that something was still not right and so I demanded a cardiologist & pulmonologist referral. The pediatrician asked us to come back in before giving us a referral and so we did. During the exam, the doctor heard a murmur and also noticed that Andrew’s skin had a yellowish tint and that he could not perform simple exercises without running out of breath. She suggested taking a trip to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for further tests and I quickly rushed him there.
On November 20, 2018, just 2 days before Thanksgiving, at just 6 years old, Andrew was diagnosed with high risk Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). It was for sure one of the scariest, most heartbreaking, devastating days of our lives. ALL is a type of leukemia that progresses quickly and develops from early forms of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell.
Andrew was admitted to the hospital that same day, had a 4 units of blood transfused that night, and started chemo the very next day. Despite all of the difficulties Andrew has encountered, he never gives up and always carries a positive attitude. His favorite saying is “if you can believe it, you can achieve it.” Anytime he feels scared for a procedure, he repeats that over and over until it’s done. Andrew is such a strong little warrior!