Will, age 14, Featured Artist, 2014

Will the Warrior

Will never meets a stranger and has stolen quite a few hearts on this journey. He is a kind-hearted teenager who actually has manners. Will was diagnosed with Acute Lymphatic Leukemia T-cell on November 18, 2013, three months to the day after his fourteenth birthday.

Will the Warrior, age 14, Featured Artist, 2014Will was a warrior even before his diagnosis dealing with several learning differences that just made school hard for him. In September 2013 he began attending The Hill School of Fort Worth and fell in love with school for the first time. Leading up to Will’s diagnosis he was practicing hard as a member of his basketball team, he felt ill but still kept going because he loved playing the game, often I would pick him up and he would get physically sick while driving home. Our doctor wrote a prescription for antibiotics for a sinus infection and still no change. Tired, but never running a fever, Will went to school and basketball practice that Friday. Over the weekend he became so pale and tired I took him to Cook Children’s in Fort Worth. Within the hour will was told he had Leukemia. That is a moment in time that a mother never forgets. The first thing Will thought of was that he would not make it to his first game on Monday and wondered if he would be ok in time for the next game.

Unfortunately there would be no games for Will, no school and no to a lot of things like running, bicycling, skateboarding and playing with his friends and dog Sammy.

Will the Warrior, age 14, Logo Winner 2014Will was immediately considered high risk because of his age and very high initial WBC, white blood count. After 28 days of intense chemotherapy Will still had not reached remission and went into an even higher risk. At this point it was decided that Will’s sixteen year old sister Hazel should be tested to see if she is a bone marrow match. Will continued on with his battle with more chemotherapy and cranial low dose radiation and still did not reach full remission. Those little buggers just kept holding on.

Meanwhile, sister Hazel is a perfect match and plans were made to head to transplant! So we begin a new journey or as Will refers to it another battle to win in the war on cancer. Will the Warrior is soldiering on!

Will and mother Nancy currently live in the bone marrow transplant unit at Cook Children’s and look for opportunities to further awareness of childhood cancer.

 

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The children we meet who are fighting a battle with blood cancer are some of the most inspirational people we know. Thanks to the special group of kids that participate in the logo drawing contest, each year we have a new logo to represent our event. And every year that logo inspires people to get involved in Our Mission: To bring the community together in a collective effort to raise awareness of and funds for blood cancer research, while honoring those who have battled or are currently battling blood cancer.

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