On Friday, April 5th, our 8-month-old son Boaz “Bo” was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Bo had been dealing with a cold and ear infection through March, but there hadn’t been any indication that it was anything more serious. We took Bo in to our pediatrician 3 times in the week leading up to April 5th simply because something just wasn’t right. Due to some of his symptoms, our pediatrician recommended we head in to a local children’s hospital where they could perform a blood draw and conduct some additional testing.
A close friend came to pick up our daughter Naomi and we headed to the children’s ER with Bo. We were eager to get more answers about what he could be dealing with, but still were not expecting anything as serious as the news we received. At 9:45pm on Friday, after two blood draws and two hours in the children’s ER, we received the devastating news of Bo’s diagnosis. A doctor came and shared with us that Bo had Leukemia and an extremely high-white blood cell count, and as a result, would be moved immediately to the pediatric ICU that night. As we processed this news, we began notifying our family and friends and were moved up to the pediatric ICU by 11:30pm. An oncologist was called in from home to meet with us that night to answer some of our questions and explain the treatment that would be starting immediately—Bo received his first dose of chemotherapy just a few hours later. The most urgent need in the ICU was to begin reducing his white blood cell count, but also to do so gradually to avoid toxicity that could affect his liver and kidneys from the breakdown of those cells.
We learned that night that Bo would be put under anesthesia first thing Saturday morning for a bone marrow biopsy and spinal tap that would help further diagnose the type of leukemia he was facing. In the same procedure, they would also insert a PICC line in his arm– a long thin catheter that would remain in place for administering his chemo treatments and other medications.
By noon on Saturday, our oncologist was able to share an exact diagnosis on the type of Leukemia Bo has based on results of the bone marrow biopsy. Bo was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)—a blood cancer that starts in the bone marrow and affects cells that would normally turn into white blood cells.
In addition to beginning chemo treatments, Bo’s first 48 hours at the hospital included many procedures and tests to diagnose the spread of his Leukemia and establish a baseline for future tests throughout his treatment—these included many blood draws, a chest x-ray, an echocardiogram, a spinal tap, bone marrow biopsy, brain MRI, ultrasound, and being put under anesthesia on two occasions for multiple attempts to install his PICC line for administering chemo. He has been such a trooper.
In the midst of this we have already seen so many answered prayers including the fact that many of the results and diagnoses we have received have been better than some of the possible outcomes. Bo has been responding largely as planned to all his treatments and medications so far.
We have felt SO held and cared for by God through the Body of Christ. We have hundreds or people around the world praying for our family and we have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support. While this is, and will be, a difficult journey, it is also a beautiful thing to be a part of in many ways. We are humbled to be a part of the larger work God is doing in bringing himself glory through our family and the life of our precious Bo.
Please pray for Boaz and our family. Through you, God is sustaining us day by day, hour by hour, as we wait to see the amazing things only He can do. Please feel free to share this website and our story with anyone you would like. We want as many people praying as possible.