Meet Lucas – Leukemia Warrior
“We didn’t plan for cancer, nobody does, but thanks to the help from The National Children’s Cancer Society I don’t have to worry as much about expenses.”
Three-year-old Lucas was full of life and energy, often playing with his 5-year-old brother and doting on his 1-year-old sister. But a fever stopped him in his tracks.
His mom, Katilynn, recalls her first visit to the hospital. “He was running a high fever that Tylenol couldn’t break. He was very fatigued and his hair started falling out. I had no idea why,” she said. “One morning I woke up and he was lifeless and so pale, so I immediately took him to the nearest hospital.”
The medical team at the hospital broke his fever and sent Lucas and his mom on their way. But the fever returned. Katilynn took Lucas to the local urgent care – and received the same treatment. But she knew something was wrong with Lucas – and she wasn’t going to give up.
“I made my way to the other side of the city and I walked in with him limp in my arms,” she said. “They immediately took him back, started an IV, and took blood,” she said. About an hour later – on May 13, 2022 – Lucas was diagnosed with positive B-cell leukemia.
“My heart sank,” recalled Katilynn. “I never would’ve thought that was going to be the diagnosis, but my mom instincts were correct. I knew it was something more.”
The Struggle After Diagnosis
Lucas didn’t experience many side effects from chemotherapy at first, but as time has gone on he has struggled with bone pain, rashes, and other uncomfortable side effects. And while he typically doesn’t mind his visits to the hospital, he has decided he doesn’t like doctors or the “pokes” that come with treatment.
Lucas’ cancer diagnosis has affected the entire family. Katilynn has since lost her job, her car, and her home in order to care for Lucas’ needs. Thankfully, Lucas’ Grandma is able to help them.
Katilynn and Lucas travel 160 miles roundtrip for treatments, returning home after each appointment so the entire family can be together. They’ve experienced extended in-patient stays as well.
The NCCS has been by their side for it all.
Katilynn noted that travel was a huge concern for her upon diagnosis. “The National Children’s Cancer Society has completely turned that around for us,” she said. “We don’t have to worry about how we’re getting to and from appointments. It feels so good that even complete strangers come together to help families in a time of need. We didn’t plan for cancer, nobody does, but thanks to the help from The National Children’s Cancer Society I don’t have to worry as much about expenses.”
The NCCS has helped Lucas and his family through the Transportation Assistance Fund and the Emergency Assistance Fund. The family has also received free publications and emotional support from their dedicated NCCS case manager.
You can help ensure that no family will go through childhood cancer alone. Donate today at theNCCS.org/donate.