Andrew is a ball of energy. He’s a normal 3-year-old, and that’s something his parents, Kelly and Chris, don’t take for granted.
When he was 4 ½ months old, they noticed one of Andrew’s pupils was smaller than the other. Doctors diagnosed him with Horner’s Syndrome, an issue with the nerve supply to his eye. Concern over his condition and a case of the flu landed him at Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital for a simple evaluation.
What was supposed to be a routine scan detected a large mass in Andrew’s chest. He was rushed to Levine Children’s Hospital.
This time, the diagnosis was Stage II neuroblastoma, a rare nerve cancer.
Not even 1 year old, Andrew received four rounds of chemotherapy to fight his cancer. After each round, he required blood and platelet transfusions to help his tiny body recover enough to undergo the next.
Around Thanksgiving of that year, Kelly and Chris received the best news they could hope to hear: Their son was in remission. The timing was not lost on the Mooresville couple.
To anyone who’s donating blood, I give a hearty thank you, because your past donations could have gone to help my son."
“For us as a family, there’s nothing we could have been more thankful for,” Chris said.
Andrew’s family is also grateful for the volunteer blood and platelet donors who ensured the blood products he needed were available when he needed them. Without those wonderful gifts, his journey to remission would not have been possible.
“To anyone who’s donating blood, I give a hearty thank you, because your past donations could have gone to help my son,” Chris said.
The experience has given their family a new perspective on blood donation. Before Andrew’s treatment, they never really thought about the everyday need for blood, or even where it comes from. Now, Chris sees the direct correlation between people in his community taking the time to give blood and the outcome that was there for his son.
“There’s a need for blood products beyond our imagination,” Chris said. “I’m very thankful that those products were available when Andrew needed them. At the end of the day, this community is what came together to get our family through the hump. And knowing that the community continues to give, it means a great deal to us as a family.”