After months of doctors’ visits that never seemed to lead anywhere, Alexander Berthelot had an ultrasound that showed his spleen was abnormally enlarged. This led doctors at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital to order blood tests, and in December 2016, he was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML). CML makes up only 3% of childhood leukemia patients, and is very treatable, thanks in part to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s efforts. Now, Alexander is on a long-term treatment for CML and is in Complete Cytogenetic Response on a medication that was discovered because of the funding of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
An active 14-year-old, Alexander doesn’t let CML slow him down, as doctors work to bring him to Molecular Response, meaning the disease has been decreased to a point that it is no longer detectible in the bone marrow. He is on the middle school tennis team, plays saxophone, and races his dog Bree through CWA (Continental Whippet Alliance) across the state.
Alexander is excited to be a Light the Night honored hero in Nashville, especially because current funding for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society will go toward active research that may lead to a cure for CML in his lifetime.