Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pablove Across America 2011 Day 18 Evening Dedication: Caleb Whan

In August 2007 Caleb was complaining of arm and leg pain. Although there was no visible fracture on x-rays, Caleb was put in casts on his right arm and leg. A few days later his left leg started to hurt. Blood work revealed his parents' worst nightmare: leukemia. Caleb was diagnosed with Hypodiploid ALL, an ultra-high risk subtype with only 8 to 10 diagnoses per year and a cure rate of only 15%. Treatment included chemotherapy, full body radiation and a bone marrow transplant at Duke in November 2007. His family temporarily relocated to Durham from their home in Fort Myers, Florida for the four month process. Only 4 days after returning to Florida in March 2008 Caleb relapsed. There is NO protocol for a patient who relapses so close to transplant. He was immediately placed on hospice and only had 15 "good" days left before complications began. His last words were "yuv you" to his dad in one of the few responsive moments. On March 28, 2008 Caleb took his last breath lying next to his mother at home only 11 days after his 4th birthday. His parents Rob and Monique actively raise money for childhood cancer research and provide relocation assistance to families through Caleb's Crusade.

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