May 6, 2011—March 9, 2018
Mason was diagnosed at 4 years old with T-Cell ALL. His white blood cell count at diagnosis was 975 thousand. During induction treatment, Mason lost vision in both of his eyes for approximately three months, as hemorrhages blocked the retina from function. After two successful eye surgeries, his vision was restored. Mason began kindergarten during the delayed intensification stage of his treatment. He entered maintenance in December 2016 and relapsed that summer. He had CNS involvement at relapse. The decision was made after a month of re-induction treatment to prepare Mason for a bone marrow transplant. Mason began first grade with his classmates and attended school for two months. He even enjoyed a field trip to the zoo one week before he would enter the transplant unit at Children's Hospital. He loved every day of his time in school! Mason had a relatively uneventful transplant in November 2017, where he was in-patient for just 30 days. He began to get back to "normal" at home when he relapsed just a month post-transplant. We began treatment again, which unfortunately would prove to be unsuccessful. While in-patient for treatment, Mason began to have respiratory distress, coupled with leukemia reappearing in his organs. He was treated in the PICU at Children's National for five days on a ventilator before he passed away on March 9th, 2018.
Mason was larger than life and taught all who surrounded him to be grateful, to live each day full of joy, to never complain, and never give up. In his six short years, he lived more than many will live in a lifetime. All who have been touched by him are ForeverMasonStrong!
—Keli, Mason's Mother
Mason learned from his Pop (and repeated it throughout his treatment) "No game without pain". He would push himself to climb the stairs, walk further, and get through tough things while repeating this mantra. He also would constantly remind me that we shouldn't cry, but we should think about something else and be happy instead. We continue to try to honor this request and even on our darkest days, turn to the positive.