Ben W.

 

Ben is a young boy who lives in Philadelphia. He has a little brother named Colin, loves his family, playing hockey, swimming, school, and all things Pokemon. On April 7, 2009, Ben's mom took him and his brother to deliver flowers and say "good bye" to their pediatrician in Chicago before their scheduled move to Philadelphia the next week. His pediatrician noted that Ben looked a bit pale, and asked if she could run a blood test before they left. The tests showed a scary hemoglobin level, more tests were ordered and he was immediately admitted to hospital in Chicago. The next day, Ben was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, (AML)*, at the age of four. Three days later, he was medi-vaced to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where he began treatment. After seven months of treatment, which included living in the hospital for over 160 days for the five rounds of chemotherapy, and enduring a myriad of tests, sedated procedures, transfusions, and painful shots, Ben reached the end of treatment in October 2009, and is now in remission. Ben is now 6 years old, full of life, spunky, outgoing, strong-willed, and a fighter. On May 4th, 2010, Ben and his family celebrated the half-year mark of post-treatment remission for Ben. He is doing great, and besides his post-treatment check-up and blood work, he hopes to never stay in a hospital again, (until he is a doctor himself that is)!

Visit Ben's Page: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/benwhitaker

Watch Ben's Video: http://www.vimeo.com/7696969

*Acute Myeloid Leukemia, (AML), is a cancer of the myeloid cells, which starts in the bone marrow and spreads to the blood. These cancerous cells begin as blasts that do not develop correctly, then multiply out of control, crowding out good blood cells. AML can spread to the lymph system and other vital organs, and occasionally manifest itself as a solid tumor.