This is the story of our “WARRIOR” Blake, who at 4 months old was diagnosed with Infant pre-b acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

On October 17, 2016 our world changed forever when we took our son Blake to the pediatrician with a fever, expecting news of a cold or a virus, but when they found no visible infection we were sent to the emergency room for further evaluation. What came next was what no parent is ever prepared to hear….. “Your child has leukemia”. Blake started his first round of chemotherapy quickly. It was a long 7 weeks that included a complex chemotherapy regimen and the need for multiple blood transfusions, trips to the operating room for spinal taps, high dose steroids, foot pricks to check blood sugars, weight loss/weight gain struggles, battles with nausea and appetite loss, around the clock vital checks and the list goes on…. pure heartbreak to watch as our innocent baby boy puts on a happy face every chance he can get. My new home was now a hospital room with our baby, leaving my husband and 4 year old son at home, so I could begin the fight for our baby’s life. I went from the bliss of maternity leave to medical family leave with limited income and a divided family life, not what any person ever imagines their life to be.

Finally, after the initial seven long weeks we get a break and a little good news, Blake is in remission! Doctors couldn’t believe it due to the severity of his disease. Since then it has been a roller coaster ride of highs and lows, good days and bad days, happy days and sad days. Extended hospital stays, a separated family and raging side effects make it tough, but each time Blake fights through it and we are grateful every single time. There will be many more of these to come as Blake and our family embark on a two and half year journey of chemotherapy to battle this terrible disease. Infant Pre-B ALL is a rarer form of childhood leukemia and the outlooks are fairly grim, but we are maintaining as much hope as we can that Blake can beat this. He’s our hero. We need him, we need him to do this and so far he is showing us he can. Brave. Strong. We are waging war together on this terrible disease!

We are thankful that the Shannon Daley Memorial Fund has chosen Blake as one of the recipients for this year’s event.

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