Carter Botz, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Two weeks before Carter’s fourth birthday, we made our first visit to Children’s, which would confirm our fear that he had leukemia. With his only symptoms being leg pain and emotional outbursts, we had been visiting our pediatrician drawing blood and searching for a cause. The day the blood started looking suspicious, we were on our way to Children’s in Minneapolis. The sight of the “Hematology/Oncology” sign is permanently etched in my mind. During that first week of hospitalization, a little boy popped into our doorway. He simply asked, “What’s he got?” I fought tears as I tried to explain how our brave little man’s blood was sick. He shrugged and went off to play. As he stepped away, his mother came in behind him. She asked, “Leukemia?” I just nodded. Then she pointed to her son and said the words that gave me a ray of hope, “He had it, too.”  We were not alone. I knew we would survive.  Carter is now a healthy 9 year old. Treatment was difficult for him. He was bumped up to high risk because of previous steroid exposure and because there were questionable blasts in one of his spinal taps. He was amazing through it all. He is finishing up 3rd grade and is entering his first year of Travel Baseball. We are so thankful as we watch his life unfold, knowing his character is greater because of his fight with cancer.