Jake’s Story

Jake, an active 13-year-old, enjoyed playing basketball, so when he complained of his shoulder hurting, I didn't think too much about it. We figured he had just pulled a muscle. But when his other shoulder started hurting a week later, my instincts told me that this wasn't quite right and so off we went to the doctor. This was the beginning of our new normal.

After numerous tests, we found out he had leukemia. Once the initial shock wore off, we learned we had important treatment decisions to make, and this was when The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) became an invaluable resource. Not knowing much about leukemia, we relied on LLS's free booklets, educational teleconferences and www.LLS.org to learn about the disease, its different treatments and how to cope with a blood cancer diagnosis.

Since his diagnosis, Jake has had to deal with hundreds of appointments and dozens of spinal taps, yet through it all he has had maintained a good sense of humor. I am the proudest mother in the world, knowing that my brave son is learning so much from this experience, and I cannot wait to see what special future awaits him.

Although Jake still has two more years of treatment, he is ready to go back to school. Once again LLS is providing assistance. Their Trish Greene Back to School Program educates teachers and other students so young cancer patients have a smoother transition when they're well enough to return to school.

--Christine Brantley

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