Age: 11 Years Old
Diagnoses: Down Syndrome and cancer survivor - ALL
(Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia)
My son, Bryce, decided he couldn’t wait to see the world, so he was born on September 11, 2010, 5 weeks prior to his due date. While we were with Bryce in the NICU, he was given a diagnosis of Down Syndrome. After 12 days in the NICU we were happy to be able to take Bryce home with us. During the next few years, Bryce blessed us with his beautiful smile and charming personality.
When he was 3 years old, he participated in the Early Childhood program at school. School was 4 days per week and for 2 ½ hours per day. It appeared he was having more colds and viruses which we felt was due to him being exposed to more children. In January 2014, when Bryce was 3 years old, he did not feel well. Although we knew that he had an ear infection, we also knew something more was going on with him. Bryce, who started walking when he was 22 months old had started walking less and wanting to be carried much more often. He was on antibiotics for his ear infection when we discovered he had a fever. This was very concerning, and the pediatrician recommended we go to Christ Hospital for blood work. She had called ahead, and the hospital staff were waiting for us. Blood was drawn and it was within hours we received the diagnosis that Bryce had cancer.
Bryce had surgery to insert a port and the chemo was administered through that port. During Bryce’s chemo treatments, he experienced significant side effects including not wanting to walk. He received orthotics that would come up to his knees to help him stand. His chemo treatments were a success and Bryce is now a cancer survivor. He is currently a healthy and active 11-year-old boy who enjoys sports, trying to keep up with the neighborhood children and seeing who can keep up with him. He plays on a Miracle League Baseball team, has participated in Track and Field with Special Olympics and loves swimming. During the past couple of years, we have tried to teach Bryce to ride a bike as many of the neighborhood children ride bikes. Although he did sit on the bike with training wheels and finally would ride it a very short distance, he would do it with much reluctance. He eventually shutdown and refused to sit on it as it was too difficult of a task. He loves riding his razor, which is three wheeled and sits low to the ground. I believe he feels more stable and therefore safer on the razor. The challenge we are experiencing is that the razor only comes in one size and Bryce continues to grow. We would love an opportunity for our active and athletic boy to have a bike that he could physically ride and feel safe. I know that Bryce would be proud to ride a bike around the neighborhood with his family and friends.