John Daniel is a 9 year old very active boy. He loves football, soccer, WWE, and video
games. A perfectly normal boy, who made the world a brighter place when he came into the
world nine years ago.
This journey began the first week of June. John had a tick bite from a camping outing at
the end of May. He started running a high fever with no other symptoms. After 3 days I took him
into his pediatrician to be seen. I believe God told her to order a CBC. His blood counts were
very low. They continued to draw blood every two days with little change. After nine days his
fever broke and we thought all would be okay, even though his blood counts still remained low.
We believed he was on the mend.
Father’s Day he went swimming at Fort Yargo and two days later the fever returned with
a vengeance. This time the high fever along with dehydration landed us at Children’s Healthcare
of Atlanta Scottish Rite for 4 days. After lots and lots of test and antibiotics we went home with a
diagnosis with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Shigella. Again we thought all would be okay
and that we had nothing to worry about.
Two Days later I received a call that no mother ever wants, let alone believes they will
ever receive; a Blood Spectrum test had come back suspect. An appointment was made to
bring John Daniel to the Alfac Cancer Center for a bone marrow extraction two days later. The
morning of July 1,2015 our lives were changed forever!
After anxiously waiting for the procedure to be done, the doctors came in and confirmed
our worst fear. John Daniel was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. They
postponed the bone marrow extraction to the following day, in order to complete it with other
needed measures, instead of completing it is two separate occasions. On July 2nd John Daniel
had surgery to have his port placed in him, a spinal tap completed, and a sample of bone
marrow extracted. Once the procedure was done, he was brought back to our room, his vitals
were taken a he was given his first round of chemotherapy. Part of the first month of treatment
he also started high doses of steroids which are standard for ALL treatment. Since his
diagnosis, he has received chemotherapy every 7 to 10 days. We deal with the headaches,
constipation, diarrhea, nausea, tingling of his hands and feet, and all the other nasty side effects
one moment at a time.
John Daniel is in the fourth grade and is doing amazing with his school work. He has his
good days and his very hard days. Though the journey will be long, My prayer is that it will be
used to help others some how. John Daniel continues to amaze us with his strength and
resilience through the process. We persevere through the hard days, and live for the days we
can almost forget his body is not being riddled by this terrible thing we call cancer.