Birth Date: November 29, 2013
Diagnosis: Pre-B Cell ALL
Theme: Freshwater Fishing
Due Date: July 1, 2021
Will was a healthy normal boy doing all the things he loved before he fell ill. In October 2020, Will started a new season of playing ice hockey. He was showing signs of fatigue and soreness. This continued for a month or so as the season began and we chalked the signs and symptoms up to just that, a new season. He would be exhausted on the couch for a day or so after a 2 hour practice. We made a couple trips to the doctor for shoulder and neck injuries with them unable to find anything to explain it other than soreness. Mid November 2020, we noticed that Will had lost his color. Some of our friends also noticed and had pointed out to us that Will was looking very pale. On November 17, 2020 we took Will in to the pediatrician. They did some blood work and told us to get the hospital immediately.
We were advised his hemoglobin was 1.3 and that his platelets were at 8. That is when the doctor told us that he likely had Leukemia. Further testing was needed, and Will was transferred to The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center. They gave him a blood transfusion while he was in the ICU. At around midnight he was transferred. Upon arrival at OU, we were met by an extensive team and they immediately began work in the middle of the night. They did their specific testing and on November 18, 2020 Will was officially diagnosed with Pre B ALL (Leukemia). We were in the hospital for about a week as treatments began. Will began his treatments under some of the best doctors and medical staff and it truly showed. Every day they reported cancerous blast numbers to us and they were rapidly declining. The doctor explained to us how Will was responding to the treatments. By the time we went home his blast numbers were close to zero! Just a few days before his 7th birthday, Will was released from the hospital to continue outpatient treatments.
The first month was very hard. Will was on steroids for 28 days straight. He ate, and ate, and ate, and ate. The weight gain was obvious. But again, he was responding so well to his medicines. On December 22, 2020 we got the best Christmas present we could ask for. We got a phone call from his doctor, she advised us that not only was Will in remission, but he was in a very deep remission! It gave us a chance to take a breath and prepare a little more for what is ahead of us. Will began feeling a lot better! Right now Will is in interim maintenance but will soon be beginning delayed intensification.
Will is so strong and fearless. He has pulled us all through this entire nightmare with his strength and courage. He reminds us often that he is not scared and that he will beat this. Warrior Will has become an inspiration not just to us, but to people all across the country. The amount of love and support that has poured in for this boy is beyond our wildest dreams. He is still early in this journey and has already come so far. Our next goal is just on the horizon with Will entering a 2 year maintenance program in May. Will is dreaming of the day he can ring that bell and he is absolutely determined to do it!