Kory was diagnosed Jan 4, 2017 with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) unknowingly having experienced a minor stroke on his left side a week prior. On this day, the Coates family’s world turned upside down for our 12 year old at the time, unable to imagine his future and us as a family. The hardest initial part for Kory was the loss of his hair when explained the chemo treatment for the next 6 months would take all of it. The village of family and friends that surrounds you during the easy times in your life was in for a rollercoaster ride. We knew God through the power of prayer would never leave us, but what about the ones whom you depended on to help you keep your sanity throughout your daily life? Not only did our village of family and friends (not to overlook Kory’s circle of friends) surround us, but the overwhelming outpour of support was amazing. Everyone knew what we needed before we realized it. We gained a circle of prayer warriors reaching as far as Arizona and Canada. The next six months in the hospital watching Kory receive treatment deemed very challenging for all of us.
In Kory's words:
It brought our family closer together physically and mentally. Some days were good, some were bad. Most days I didn’t even want to get out of bed, but I had to push. While in the hospital I still had to attend school, which was the hardest part. Between having to focus and the sleep deprivation it was hard to get up and walk down the hall. I loved the people there but hated the place because nobody likes being stuck in the hospital. Despite my situation in the hospital, I was inducted to the Jr. National Honor Society and completed the school year with a 4.0 GPA.
Throughout it, Kory rose above ALL and remained the CHAMPION he’s always been. He persevered through completion of 7th grade in the hospital by being inducted to the National Junior Honor Society and embraced his bald head. Prayer works and so did a team of talented physicians at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. They listened and treated our family just like family and not a medical record number. To date, Kory remains in remission with no restrictions. His quality of life is fantastic. THIS IS WHY WE MUST WALK RIGHT ALONG WITH the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. With all that said, we knew our family could get through anything life had in store for us, if Kory kept pushing through the unwritten chapters in our lives.
Our journey to remain spiritually positive and listen to encouraging words were all given to our family from the KOR Village team and Ebenezer AME Church in Fort Washington, Maryland. We knew life as it once was would never be the same since Kory’s diagnosis on Jan 4, 2014. Kory has now been in remission for 2 years and is thriving in his high school STEM program, majoring in Engineering.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Light the Night brings SO much hope and so much light to the funding of blood cancer research and treatment. Without it, Kory may not be alive today. As a 2019 Light The Night Honored Hero, Kory, his mom, dad, sister and brother are SO thankful and grateful. We ask everyone here today to continue to support this wonderful effort.