Robert Hart

Robert Hart was 6 years old, a kindergartener when his life was changed forever. A few months into his kindergarten year Robert became increasingly tired. He would come home from school and immediately fall asleep, eat dinner then go back to sleep. After about a week of this he also developed dark circles under his eyes and at that time my husband and I both thought he must be anemic. I scheduled an appointment for a few days later and on the morning of that appointment he woke up with a swollen belly. He also had tiny little bruises covering his body. Something I would later would be called petechia. Our wonderful pediatrician new immediately something was wrong and the blood work showed massive amounts of white blood cells as well as an enlarged liver. With tears in her eyes she grabbed my hands and told me to get to Children’s Healthcare as fast as I could. We received the diagnosis sometime in the middle of the night on Decemeber 16, 2010 that our 6 year old son had Leukemia. It would be days before we would learn the exact type of High risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Your world is immediately sent into chaos, treatment begins that day and would continue for 3.5 years. With two small children at home, a husband with a full time job, no family in the same state, and lots of hospitalizations ahead we felt like a sinking ship. Robert handled most treatment well. He spent many days in the hospital, in the clinic, received dozens of spinal taps and bone marrow aspirations, daily chemotherapy, hair loss, X-rays, surgery. You name it, he’s probably had it. He does it all with a smile and a laugh like no other. He enjoys making the nurses laugh and scaring them as they walk past his room. As we rounded the corner past the three year mark of treatment, we could see the end in our sights. But then during a routine spinal tap they found a few cancer cells. Another tap, more cells. Robert had relapsed. To say we were de estates is an understatement. His official diagnoses, an Isolated Central Nervous System relapse of ALL. We would immediately stop the original treatment plan and begin a whole new two year intense protocol that also involved cranial radiation. He has now been on that plan for over a year and has spend the majority of that time in the hospital. It has been the most difficult twelve months of our lives. We expect Robert to finish treatment sometime next summer. Unfortunately he is already dealing with multiple side effects from the high doses of chemo and radiation. We pray that this treatment works and he will never have to go through it again. Robert is currently 10 years old. He loves building with Legos, has the kindest heart and still enjoys scaring the nurses and making them laugh.

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