“It was surreal hearing this news because Devin was a very healthy little boy before this. I would hear stories or see commercials of other children with cancer, but I never thought it would be one of my children.”
Allison and Mike felt fortunate to have four beautiful, healthy children: Tessa (8), Ainsley (7), Devin (4) and Brielle (2). Life in North Carolina was busy with all four kids in dance classes, Devin's soccer games and school, but it was fun.
In June, Devin started having high fevers, sore legs, and an enlarged spleen and liver. After a series of tests, their sweet son was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on June, 23, 2016.
“Our world was flipped upside down in an instant,” shared Allison. “It was surreal hearing this news because Devin was a very healthy little boy before this. I would hear stories or see commercials of other children with cancer, but I never thought it would be one of my children.”
It was a tough summer with hospital and clinic visits, and several bad side effects from the medication. Devin couldn't walk and had high glucose and high blood pressure. The good news: He had a good prognosis with a high survival rate. The bad news was they had a long and rough journey ahead with an anticipated 3 ½ years for treatment for boys with ALL.
His parents worried about this journey forcing Devin to grow up too fast, and how it would affect his happy-go-lucky personality. They see it has made Devin mature a little faster, with regular conversations about chemo medications and procedures – topics they never thought they would have with their 4-year-old son. But, it has broadened their family's perspective and made them all more knowledgeable and empathetic to people who are fighting difficult medical battles. They are grateful for each day that they have together.
Now in his third month of treatment, Devin has great energy and has regained a lot of strength back in his legs. He is still a sweet, happy boy who loves superheroes, dancing, soccer and football. His three sisters have been incredibly supportive. They have accompanied him on his clinic visits and learned about his port and chemo, which he receives on a weekly basis, and reminding everyone to wash their hands when they enter their home.
Pinky Swear has supported Devin’s family with gift cards for gas and groceries, and worked with a local school to organize a fundraiser for Devin in Fall 2016.
“We are very appreciative of Pinky Swear. They have been there for emotional support and have hooked me up with other mothers who have children with cancer,” said Allison. “They attended a fundraiser for Devin, and helped us with a grant for groceries. Feeding a family six with these medical bills beginning to come is difficult, so that was wonderful. My husband and I have attended a few Pinky Swear fundraisers and are in awe of this organization and at the giving nature of people.”