Meet our young warriors

Meet Brantley – Leukemia Warrior

"Although we still have much to overcome, I am so grateful for everyone in this battle,” said Brantley's mom.

Two year-old Brantley was suffering from what appeared to be strep throat so the doctor prescribed antibiotics. Weeks went by and after three rounds of antibiotics, this little boy was only getting worse. In addition to a very sore throat, Brantley was now suffering from persistent fevers which alarmed his mother, Angela greatly. While waiting for an upcoming appointment for further testing, he became so ill he had to be hospitalized. Since Brantley has Down syndrome, doctors knew he was predisposed to leukemia. They feared that was why Brantley became so sick in such a short amount of time. After running more tests, the doctors finally had their answer. Brantley was battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

As doctors explained Brantley’s diagnosis and treatment, Angela felt completely overwhelmed. Brantley needed to be seen six times in the first month of treatment and the hospital was 45 minutes away from their home. Angela lost half of her in-home daycare business since her son needed to be seen so often. “As a single, self-employed mother, I can’t put into words how hard it’s been,” Angela shared. After Angela revealed the financial hardship she faced to her hospital social worker, she was referred to the NCCS for help with treatment-related travel expenses. An NCCS case manager was ready to provide the financial and emotional support Angela needed.

The side effects and complications of chemotherapy – from mouth sores to mucositis – repeatedly delayed Brantley’s treatment plan. Thankfully, he is now in the maintenance stage of treatment and is seen only three times a month. Angela said Brantley is doing so much better. He is able to go to school and get back to his “loving and playful self,” said Angela. “Although we still have much to overcome, I am so grateful for everyone in this battle.”