In the fall of 2019, life was very active for me and my 4-year-old son, Jarvis. Almost every day after school, we would go to the park so he could run around and play. He was starting to learn to ride bikes when his feet started to hurt. We all know little kids get hurt, but something was different this time. By February of 2020, he had developed a limp and more symptoms, including a fever and stomach pains. We were told by his doctor it was the flu.
As the country began to shut down due to COVID-19, Jarvis took a turn for the worse. He woke up with stomach and chest pain, unable to walk from the pain in his feet. I thought, How did this happen to my son? Thankfully, family members in the medical field told me to reach out to Jarvis’ doctor again. The doctor called us the next day and helped us get an appointment at a pediatric urgent care. After his bloodwork was finally done, I was told to take him to the Children’s Emergency Room at University Hospital. At this point, we still didn’t know what was wrong with him.
Jarvis means the world to me—he is so strong, so brave. Over the next week, my son would undergo multiple X-rays, blood tests, and transfusions; be quarantined for COVID; get a PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter) surgically inserted into his arm; and start chemotherapy. Jarvis finally had a diagnosis: Pre-B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). We stayed in the hospital for the next three weeks while Jarvis underwent treatment and physical therapy for his legs, including using a walker.
In the past two years, Jarvis has gone from having a PICC line in his arm to a port in his chest; from not walking at all to running around like a 7-year-old should be; from doctors’ visits every two weeks to every three months. Jarvis is the strongest kid I know.
I am so grateful for all the support we have had from our family, our church, our doctors and nurses, and organizations like The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). We were able to receive travel assistance and financial aid from LLS while on this journey, and we continue to rely on their resources as Jarvis gets better.
We are most thankful for this: Jarvis was officially declared in remission in late 2022! It's been a long journey, but we are so happy that we are at the end of that journey. His next wish is to go to Disney World!
— Paula, Jarvis’ mother