A Smile for Harrison

Steve McKinionUncategorizedLeave a Comment

Meg’s Smile Foundation is a local nonprofit whose mission is to give kid’s fighting cancer a “smile.” You can read about their great work on their website. Yesterday they blessed our family with a smile for Harrison. He was supposed to go last Sunday but due to his hospitalization for the flu was unable. So he went on December 9: … Read More

A Date That Will Live in Infamy

Steve McKinionUncategorized1 Comment

Today is December 7.  The anniversary of the Japanese attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor. But the date I have in mind is two days from today: December 9, 2011.  On that date my youngest child was diagnosed with cancer.  It was the start of a terrible journey for my little boy.  A fourth grader excited about … Read More

Another Threat Averted

Steve McKinionUncategorized3 Comments

Over the weekend Harrison faced yet another serious threat to his life: the flu. Childhood cancer patients are severely immunocompromised and are therefore susceptible to infection.  These infections are bad for healthy people.  They are often fatal for these kids. Harrison woke up Friday morning feeling bad.  He had a fever.  A fever is an automatic trip to the hospital … Read More

A Hero to Harrison

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Here’s a great story from Mandy Mitchell at WRAL.  You might remember that Mandy did a story on Harrison and his relationship with the NC State Baseball team back in the spring. This young man beat leukemia and has achieved his dream of playing college baseball. The oncologist you see briefly in the video is Dr. Stuart Gold, one of … Read More

Another Birthday, but not JUST Another

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Yesterday Harrison turned eleven years old. In most years, for most people, an eleventh birthday is just another birthday. Of course, for people my age, a birthday is just another day. But not for Harrison. Yesterday was a birthday that not so long ago we never thought we would see. Countless times on Harrison’s journey death has seemed inevitable. When … Read More

How Harrison Really Feels

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Below is a screen grab from Harrison’s Instagram feed (his handle is @cancerstinks). I just noticed it this morning. Breaks my heart. Harrison rarely talks about having cancer; he is more focused on being a kid than on being a kid with cancer. But this picture offers a glimpse of how he really feels. Little buddy, I feel the same … Read More

A Hero Turns Fourteen

Steve McKinionUncategorized2 Comments

One of Harrison’s biggest heroes turns fourteen years old today: his big sister Blakely.  Or, as he affectionally calls her, Boo Boo. During this long and difficult journey no one has been more of a hero to Harrison than Lachlan and Blakely.  They are a constant source of encouragement for him.  He looks up to them, admires them, and strives to be … Read More

Another Chemo Hold

Steve McKinionUncategorized1 Comment

Harrison’s monthly trip to the clinic today went exceptionally well. Today was a sedation day, meaning he was under sedation for a spinal tap through which Dr. Weston administered Methotrexate to kill the leukemia cells in his spinal column and brain. Because of Harrison’s stroke in December, millions of cancer cells rushed into his brain. Unfortunately, most relapses occur in … Read More

Transplant Pioneer Dies

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For so many childhood cancer patients the only hope for beating their disease is a bone marrow or stem cell transplant.  A new friend of ours in this journey is preparing even now for a transplant December as she fights neuroblastoma.  The man who invented this procedure has died.  To tens of thousands he is a real hero. E. Donnall … Read More

Why You Think You Don’t Know a Childhood Cancer Survivor

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…but you may. The childhood cancer community sometimes seems to be a secret society. I had know of kids with cancer, but not many. My cousin’s son had been fighting leukemia for a few years before Harrison was diagnosed, and our family prayed for little Eli regularly. I recall, especially as a kid, seeing buckets in convenience stores asking for … Read More