gdc
Family MembersLeukemiaPediatric Cancer

Leukemia Is Shaping My Son’s Future

After his father’s diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, 10-year-old Rhett is determined to become an oncologist to help other patients with cancer.
August 2018 Vol 4 No 4
Rachelle Donham
Stephenville, Texas
This is Rhett, a 10-year-old boy who wants to be an oncologist to help others.
This is Rhett, a 10-year-old boy who wants to be an oncologist to help others.

This is Rhett, a 10-year-old boy who knows what it is like to deal with cancer. Although physically he doesn’t feel the pain of cancer, he knows it all too well emotionally. His dad was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL, in October 2016.

Rhett has witnessed the effects of chemo, the monthly doctor’s visits, the blood tests, and the strain that cancer places on a family.

Rhett celebrated 2 Thanksgivings in the hospital, welcomed the 2017 New Year in the emergency department, endured questions from other kids as to why his dad was wearing a mask to all his basketball games, and saw his dad lose a lot of weight and become unrecognizable to him.

This is a lot for a 10-year-old kid, but Rhett handled it like a pro. He continued to get straight As in school, continued with his extra-curricular activities, and even received a Teacher Recognition Award at the end of the year. Sure, there were bad days, and not-so-fun days, but it didn’t stop Rhett from wanting to knock out cancer for good.

Helping Others

In fourth grade, Rhett was given a school assignment to choose a career and present it to the class. Guess what he chose? He chose to be an oncologist. Why, you may ask? “Because I have seen what cancer does, and I want to help other people fight it,” he said.

Rhett is a 10-year-old boy with a heart of gold and a kindness who wants to help others. He has used the unthinkable experience of cancer and turned it into a goal and a mission—to make a positive influence in the lives of others.

I have no doubt that this kid will grow up to do amazing things, and he will be on a mission to knock out cancer for the rest of his life. I know this, because Rhett is my son.

Rhett’s parents, Guyle and Rachelle.
Rhett’s parents, Guyle and Rachelle.

An Unbreakable Bond

Cancer doesn’t only affect the patient, it affects the entire family. The bond it creates between a family is unbreakable, and it makes us all realize just how special life is.

Life is a gift that so many people take for granted. I like to view it from a 10-year-old boy’s perspective. Life is simple, so focus on what is important, enjoy the ride, and be on a mission to help others.

We are happy to report that Rhett’s dad has just finished his treatments and has been told that the cancer is in remission. Still, the journey doesn’t end here, and Rhett is continuing to help in the fight against leukemia.

Recommended For You
FDA NewsLeukemiaNewsworthy
Tibsovo First Drug Approved by the FDA for AML with IDH1 Mutation
In July 2018, the FDA approved Tibsovo (ivo-sidenib; from Agios Pharmaceuticals), the first IDH1 inhibitor, for the treatment of adults with relapsed (returning) or refractory (not responding to treatment) acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and a susceptible IDH1 genetic mutation.
Pediatric CancerSlideshowsWeb Exclusives
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
View this slideshow to learn important facts about childhood cancer, including statistics, causes and treatment.
Pediatric CancerWeb Exclusives
That Bald Kid—Yeah, She’s Mine
By Tara Geraghty
During this National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Tara Geraghty reflects on her experience with her daughter’s diagnosis and treatment, and shares her top 10 tips to parents’ survival
Last modified: October 1, 2018

Subscribe to CONQUER: the patient voice® magazine

Receive timely cancer news & updates, patient stories, and more.

Country