September 11, 2014 my husband and I took our 14 month old Halston to the emergency room at Evans Army Hospital on Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, CO. He had been running a fever off & on, which we related to teething. After blood work, the doctor told us he believed he had Leukemia or Lymphoma. we were transfered to Children’s Hospital of Colorado bright and early that morning. Halston was later diagnosed with AML M7 Leukemia. He was placed on a study for an AML protocol that would send him on the road to transplant if he did not reach remission after his induction round of chemo. My husband is an active duty soldier for the US Army, and was given a compassionate reassignment back to Virginia where we’re from, to be closer to family. We took Halston to Children’s National Medical Center in DC, where we found out that Halston had not reached remission. He indured round two of chemotherapy here. After round two he was in remission. He still had no choice but to move forward with transplant due to the 60% chance of relapse. After doing a lot of research, we decided to transfer him to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He did round three of chemo, followed by a unrelated donor stem cell transplant. Halston had a couple hiccups in the road, but was eventually discharged the Friday afternoon before Easter. We stayed at a local house for sick patients for a couple of days.
Unfortunately Halston had to stay in his room due to the risk of germs that he could come in contact with, which had potential to create a lot of issues with his recovery. We were rescued by The HEADstrong Foundation the Tuesday after Easter. We were fortunate enough to be asked to move into Nick’s House! Halston is able to run free. I’m able to make sure he eats enough to keep his weight up, continue developing mentally and physically just like he would if he were back home. This Foundation has been the biggest blessing. My husband is only able to visit on the weekends due to his job. The help we have received for travel expenses, down to the love my child feels while playing/interacting with everyone downstairs is worth something that money just can’t buy. Being a military family, “A home away from home” is something we hear often. Nothing compares to this home. The HEADstrong Foundation has definitely stole a piece of our hearts, and we are beyond grateful for them.