May 3, 1998—October 16, 2015
Henry was always smiling and welcomed people into his life through his easy-going manner, humor, and big bear hugs! As he welcomed in the year 2015, Henry's year ahead included getting his driver's license, applying to college, and spending time with his friends and girlfriend. But two weeks later, Henry was in an emergency room being diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).
The original treatment called for three rounds of chemotherapy followed by two years on an oral chemotherapy drug. But a week into treatment, the family learned that Henry's leukemia was more aggressive and would require a bone marrow transplant.
After Henry completed his chemotherapy, he took a trip to Charleston, SC, where he went to cooking classes and enjoyed the local restaurants. Henry loved to cook and eat delicious food! He celebrated his 17th birthday two weeks early and checked into the hospital for his bone marrow transplant on May 1st. When Henry left the hospital, he said he was lucky to have the hardest thing he would ever have to do behind him. But after only 6 days at hone, Henry's new immune system began attacking his healthy organs and he developed stage 4 Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD).
Henry's family and friends wanted to help, so they organized "Team Henry" to fundraise for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light The Night in October and hoped Henry would be out of the hospital by then. However, Henry's condition worsened. Family and friends flew in from around the country to be part of Light The Night, and because of that, were able to say goodbye to Henry on October 16th as he took his last breath. The next night, everyone gathered at the Team Henry tent to console, cry, hug, and even smile a little as they mourned and celebrated Henry's life. This beautiful and caring young man will be forever 17 years old, but his light will shine on through all who knew him.