Several swollen lymph nodes and extreme fatigue led us to request some tests to figure out what was going on with Barrett. Within a couple of hours of doing labs, we were told to proceed to the Sacred Heart ER immediately as the doctors suspected leukemia. The ER performed a chest X-ray that evening and by midnight, Barrett and I were preparing to be flown to Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville, FL. On May 23, 2023 Barrett was officially diagnosed with T-Cell ALL. It was his last day of second grade which he was very sad to miss. He spent the first month of treatment at Shands – 3 weeks inpatient and the last week outpatient. During that time he received many blood and platelet transfusions, had a PICC line put in, and later a port. He learned to swallow pills and will no longer eat apple sauce because it is now associated with taking meds! Barrett has an identical twin brother, Sawyer, and a 9-year old sister, Millie. They didn’t like being apart from each other, and thankfully Sawyer and Millie were able to come over to Gainesville on the weekends to visit.
Barrett and his dad shaved their heads while at Shands and formed the “Kiwi Club” which Barrett came up with because their heads were soft and fuzzy. Word spread about the Kiwi Club and some friends and family also decided to join the club in support of Barrett. After induction, we were able to return home to Pensacola. Barrett has continued treatment here at Sacred Heart. He’s continued to require many blood and platelet transfusions along the way, and had a couple of 2-week inpatient stays from neutropenic fevers during his consolidation phase. After consolidation and recovering from his second neutropenic fever, he was able to have another bone marrow test (Oct 13th) and we received great news that he has achieved remission!!
We are now in Interim Maintenance and Barrett has been feeling better than he has in a long time. We are enjoying this time that he has been more like himself. Barrett still has a little over a year and a half of treatment remaining. The doctors, nurses and staff we have met and worked with along the way have been incredible. We are so thankful for the HemOnc teams at both Shands and Sacred Heart!
We are also very grateful for the support of Rally Foundation!
Thank you for the work that you do
Every child diagnosed with childhood cancer inspires us to Rally On to find better treatments with fewer long-term side effects and, ultimately, cures. Please join us in the fight against childhood cancer by making a donation or setting up your own Rally fundraiser today.