Meet Elias – Leukemia Warrior
“The National Children's Cancer Society has been more than amazing at checking in with us, not only to make sure we receive funding, but to talk with me about Elias's well-being and also how we as a family are coping. We are so appreciative!” – Kelsey, Elias’ mother
A childhood cancer diagnosis stops time for a family. It’s an immediate knowing that nothing will ever be the same again. Just after his 6th birthday, Elias was diagnosed with B-ALL (B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia). His mom Kelsey recounts, “Everything about the way we were living was about to be different.” In an instant, his family was met with devastating news that shattered their hearts. And in their brokenness came fear, uncertainty and, of course, a million questions.
Treatment began immediately in Atlanta, approximately two hours from their Georgia home. Just as promptly as the treatment started, so did the influx of bills. With Elias’ father in the middle of a job transition, feelings of anxiety were amplified.
A new reality set in quickly. Multiple hospital stays meant unyielding procedures to try to get Elias well again: run the test, do the treatment, draw the blood, access the port. The side effects were changing Elias’ appearance, mobility and emotions. The burden was big, but Elias’ heart and spirit were bigger. Despite being fatigued and sick from the treatment, Elias kept a positive, upbeat attitude even when he didn’t fully understand what was happening. And even if he didn’t like what was going on, he never once complained. His mom shares, “He pushes me to be better.” On tough days, she is strengthened by her faith: “I am gently reminded that I have my son, right here with me, and there is so much to be thankful for!”
After multiple chemotherapy treatments and an array of brilliant and kind oncology specialists, Elias is currently free and clear of any leukemia cells in his blood, spinal fluid and bone marrow. To remain in remission, he must continue varied chemotherapy for a course of two years. The National Children’s Cancer Society (NCCS) has supported and will continue to support Elias’ family with travel expenses through our Transportation Assistance Program. We know that these costs add up quickly, but they should be the last thing on a parent’s mind when their child has cancer. That’s how, with support from our generous donor community, we are able to ease the burden for families during difficult times. Kelsey shares, “The last thing I try to worry about is the distance from the clinic and gas money needed to make the trips. NCCS helps to lighten this stress by funding assistance for gas costs. The National Children’s Cancer Society has been more than amazing at checking in with us, not only to make sure we receive funding, but to talk with me about Elias’s well-being and also how we as a family are coping. We are so appreciative!”
No matter how big the mountain is for Elias and his family, the NCCS and our supporters will be with them every step of the way – no matter what.