CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Cole Carter
September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 7, 2012 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors CURE Kid Cole Carter. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Cole’s fund.
On July 5th, 2000, our family welcomed Cole William Carter to the world. He was a very healthy 7 pound 9 ounce baby boy and came speedily into this world. He joined his Mom (Colleen), Dad (Ron), brother (Zach) and sister (Cailyn). We were so happy to call our family complete. And then, our lives were unexpectedly turned upside down…
At the age of 5, Cole was having some leg pain that we noticed when he was playing baseball in the fall of 2005. He could hit the ball great but when he had to run to first base he limped and hobbled the entire way. We took him to his pediatrician’s office because along with his leg pain he complained of an ear ache. He had an ear infection and the doctor ordered an x-ray of one of his legs (I can’t remember which one). I told her that he really didn’t favor one leg, he complained that both legs hurt. Of course the x-rays showed nothing. The next week I made an appointment with a pediatric orthopedic specialist. Cole broke his leg when he was 2 and his arm when he was 3, so we had been to this office before. She really didn’t find any problems and ordered me to give Cole Motrin 3 times a day for 10 days for the pain and hopefully whatever it was would go away within that time. The Motrin helped with the leg pain but after about a week I just didn’t feel like we had gotten to the root of the problem. On Monday, October 3rd (our 13th wedding anniversary) I took Cole to the pediatrician’s office again and told his doctor to do a blood test. By this time Cole was walking around like an old man. He had very little energy and his coloring was off.Looking back at pictures, he looked almost green.
The next day, his pediatrician called Ronnie at work and told him that we needed to go to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite for additional testing. Cole’s blood tests showed low platelets and he was also anemic. They found zero leukemia blasts in his peripheral blood, but something was not right. After some initial tests at Scottish Rite they we 95% sure that we were dealing with leukemia, but they had to do some additional tests to confirm. The bone marrow aspiration was done the next day which showed 93% leukemia blasts. They diagnosed him with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia), which is the most curable type of leukemia. He went into surgery the next day to insert a port in his chest to receive his chemo treatments. The chemo began and Cole went into remission on Day 8. He was considered a rapid responder which gave Cole an even higher cure rate. At that point we finally had something to smile about.
All while this was happening Ronnie’s Mom was in her last moments of life, dying of Lung Cancer. He traveled to New Hampshire the evening that Cole was diagnosed to say good bye to his Mom. He came back to Atlanta 4 days later very torn about where to be at that time. His Mom ended up passing away on October 14th, 9 days after Cole’s diagnosis. October of 2005 was the worst month of our lives.
We have come a long way since then and Cole completed treatment in December 2008. He started 7th grade last month and continues to improve in school. We have been hit hard with that “cancer” word, but in many ways cancer has been a blessing. We have been witness to so much kindness over this journey from friends, family and even complete strangers. We are happy that Cole’s leukemia has an increasingly growing cure rate and we specifically thank Cure Childhood Cancer for their dedicated efforts to find cures for all childhood cancers.