September 13, 2012
The day everything changes usually starts just like any other day. For us, that day was September 13, 2012. My son, BJ, was 11 years old. My daughter, Carly, was 7. I was a single mom. I had just arrived to work that morning in Charlotte when I got the phone call. On the other end was our family physician. She was calling to tell me that my son’s hemoglobin level from the test the day before was 5.6, and should be between 12 and 16.
Rushing to the Emergency Department
She sounded very concerned and told me that I needed to get him to the Emergency Department as soon as I could. Confused and panicked, I hurriedly left work to drive back to my son’s school. BJ had just started the 6th grade at North Lincoln Middle School and was playing football for a recreation team. He was always a healthy and active kid, so I couldn’t imagine what was about to unfold that day.
At the hospital
We headed straight to Levine Children’s Hospital, directly to the Children’s Emergency Department. Since the doctor had called ahead, BJ was taken to a room upon our arrival. More blood tests were done, as well as ultrasound on his heart and spleen. When the ED doctor moved the wand to BJ’s spleen, he blurted out “that’s not what I wanted to see.”
I asked what was wrong. He responded that BJ’s spleen was enlarged. I asked what would cause that. He rattled off a list but I didn’t hear anything but what he said first. “Leukemia.” BJ and I looked at each other, and the doctor was quiet. I know he knew right then, but it wasn’t until two other doctors came into the room that it started to make sense.
Somehow I managed to walk down the hallway to a room with the two doctors. My head had already started to swim when I saw their name tags. “I’m 99% sure your son has leukemia,” is what I heard the Hematology/Oncology doctor tell me. Tears started down my face. I also heard him tell me, “it’s curable, curable, curable.” My mind was reeling with everything – the environment, the sounds, the additional doctors, the 99%. What my mind grabbed onto was the 99%, and I rationalized that there was still a 1% chance that the doctor was wrong. My son couldn’t have cancer.
Stand Firm Warrior Foundation is LKNConnect’s Outstanding Non-Profit for February 2020. Read the second part of BJ’s story in Stand Firm Warrior Foundation: The Day Everything Changed Part II. —EH Stafford, Managing Editor
The Stand Firm Warrior Foundation
The Stand Firm Warrior Foundation is LKNConnect’s Outstanding Non-Profit for the month of February. They are a 501c3 non-profit organization. Their mission is to fight childhood cancer by providing support to pediatric cancer research focused on complementary and alternative treatments to chemotherapy. To continue to further the push for awareness of childhood cancer, and to provide assistance to families with children battling the disease.
For more information and opportunities to donate and to volunteer, visit: www.standfirmwarrior.org.
Michelle is a two-time graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Sociology, and a Master of Arts degree in Sociology. She is also a Certified Biofield Tuning Practitioner and owns Love Sound Therapy. Michelle is a single mother of two children, BJ and Carly, and resides in Denver, NC.
Michelle spends the majority of her time spreading love and encouragement as an advocate for children with cancer, leading Stand Firm Warrior Foundation — a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that fights childhood cancer by providing funding for alternative and adjunct treatments, focuses on education and awareness, and provides assistance to the little warriors.