Leukemia is a blood disease.
Essentially, Leukemia is an uncontrolled growth of a malignant blood cell that originates in your bone marrow, almost always a type of white blood cell. Leukemia's direct translation is "White Blood".
Instead of forming into a mass like many malignant tumors, Leukemia spreads through your bone marrow and quickly pushes out the good blood cells - it's almost like an all-over blood tumor. As Leukemia spreads throughout the body it can eventually manifest in a particular area causing severe pressure and pain. The liver, spleen, lymph nodes, central nervous system, kidneys and gonads are all subject to the spread of Leukemic blood cells.
Although Leukemia affects people of all ages and far more adults than children - it is the most prolific children's cancer - accounting for about 35% of all pediatric cancer.
Children's Leukemia usually manifests as one of two different types - ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) and AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia).
ALL affects about 3000 children in the US per year. In 1962 the five year survival rate was about 4%. Currently ALL Leukemia is touted as one of the most survivable children's cancers with a 95-98% initial remission rate and an 80% five year survival rate.
AML is known as the "bad" Leukemia. It affects about 500 children per year in the US. Currently, the initial remission rate is high at about 80%, but unlike ALL, AML Leukemia has a history of coming back. With an aggressive chemotherapy regimen and possible (highly toxic) bone marrow transplant, AML has a stingy 40-50% long term survival rate.
Our situation is simple. We must provide every opportunity possible for Hunter to become one of the positive AML statistics!
We have a new mission in life.
Death of a Superhero
A Family's Story about Courage, Bravery and the Defining Moments of LOVE
Our sweet, lil' baby love lost his battle to AML Leukemia on March 8, 2010. We fought long, hard and very aggressively for 2.5 years, only to have his cancer come back for the fourth time to finally take his life. He was only 3 years old.
This entire blog is about Hunter's amazing journey. It's about his life and his love......his determination and his courage.......his absolutely, brilliant personality, and the affect he's had on people all over the world.
He's left an unimaginable footprint on this earth and has changed the lives of thousands of individuals. People who didn't realize how precious life was, now live it with extreme gratefulness. People who took every minute they get to spend with their children for granted, now savor every last second. And people who weren't quite sure what love is all about, now love deeper, love stronger and love with every ounce of their soul.
People all around the world have shared their love, their well wishes, their prayers and their inspiration, and we could have NEVER achieved as much as we did without them. We are humbled by their generosity & their true friendships & are forever grateful for every last person that has come into our lives through our experience with Hunter. He was our precious baby love who we loved and cherished with all our hearts and we are forever crushed and terribly, broken-hearted.
Dance in the clouds baby cakes. Mom & dad are watching proudly & you will remain so very close to our hearts for all of eternity.