Our family’s experience with blood cancer was brief and devastating. On May 4th, 2016 we took our 6.5 year old son, Carson, to the pediatrician due to a fever and sore throat. He was diagnosed with strep and given antibiotics. A week later on May 11th, we returned to the pediatrician because he was still running a low grade fever. He was given a second type of antibiotics. When the second round of antibiotics didn’t seem to be working, we took Carson to urgent care on Sunday May 15th, 2016. After two blood draws at urgent care we were sent to St. Rose Siena ER for 3 more blood draws. It’s there we received the crushing news that Carson most likely had leukemia. Carson’s initial white blood cell count was 400,000. Due to his dangerously high potassium levels, he was rushed to Sunrise Children’s Hospital, where he would have ports placed and begin dialysis immediately. Carson was placed under anesthesia for the port placement and would never wake up again. On Monday May 16th, Carson was officially diagnosed with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. We spent the next 3 days watching our little boy’s body slowly shut down. He experienced breathing trouble, kidney problems, and heart arrhythmias. At 3:30a on Wednesday May 18th his heart stopped twice and the doctors were able to revive him. At 2:58p, after doctors tried everything humanly possible to save him, we held our little boy as he quietly went to heaven.
Carson was a bundle of energy with a heart of gold. He was outgoing, funny, smart, kind, artistic, fearless, and happy. He loved his stuffed Tiggers, dinosaurs, dancing, drawing, baseball, motorcycles, monster trucks, his little brother and sister, and his friends. He had a zest for life that was contagious and refreshing. It was impossible to be in a bad mood around him. We miss the laughter and fun he brought to our lives. The Light the Night walk is a way for us to honor Carson, by coming together to raise money and awareness for early childhood detection research. Carson showed no signs of illness prior to getting strep throat on May 4th, which is why we feel early detection research is so important. We will continue to keep Carson’s memory alive by raising money for childhood and blood cancer research.