“Seth’s Cancer story began around March 12th of 2014. Kurt and I had noticed that his skin color was way off. We thought, in our non-medical minds, that we’d start him on a high iron diet and iron supplements and give it a few days. I was supposed to leave on a trip on March 19th, and since there had been no improvements, on March 17th I decided to run him in to the ER (it was evening by this time) to check his CBC’s and figure things out.
Within 45 minutes we were riding in the back of an ambulance downtown to Wolfson with a Leukemia diagnosis. By God’s grace, while we were shaking, we were not shaken. The same faith that we’d claimed and walked in before this, was the exact thing that carried us victoriously through this journey.
Everything for the first month was looking really good. He had ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia). Praise! It was not in his spinal fluid. Praise! Ninety percent cure rate. Praise! We can do this!! We were following a low risk treatment plan, pending all the genetic testing coming back positively.
At the one month mark, Seth and I were going to clinic for routine blood work/chemo. Little did I know that this morning our path would change COMPLETELY. The oncologist came in and asked the child life specialist to take Seth out to play some games. Right away I knew this was going to be anything but routine… When Seth left, she sat down next to me and proceeded to say how much she wished Kurt had been there with me that day, because she had some hard things to tell me. Seth’s last genetic test had come back that morning with the worst possible results. It showed he had something called Hypodiploid ALL. All of us have 46 chromosomes in our cells, but Seth only had 27 in his leukemic cells. That put Seth in the worst group of this condition, it meant he was now headed towards a bone marrow transplant, and it also meant that his chances just went from 90% to 30%, medically speaking. Wow.
This sent us into a time that we really had to come to grips with the fact that we could lose “our” boy. We had long nights, weeping and praying, but with very few words. We grieved as we came to grips with what we knew he was about to face. We had to allow our minds to wander to the ‘what ifs’… This process seemed long, but altogether, it was about two weeks. We got refocused and started pursuing the goal with determination, even began praying that the rest of our journey would be IMPOSSIBLE to man so that GOD’S name would be made famous! While we knew what the possibilities were, we never lived in a way that told Seth he had any choice except for beating this and surviving! As we continued to pray and walk this journey, I asked the Lord to prepare my heart for whatever the outcome was going to be (since He was the only one who knew the outcome). I KNEW Seth would be ok.
During this time, our entire family had to be tested to see if we had a bone marrow match in our family. Without a match in our family, Seth’s chances of survival, medically speaking, were diminished. Oh how we begged the Lord. After one of the longest weeks of our lives, we found out that God had made our already miraculous twins’ bodies PERFECTLY to save their brothers life (to have fraternal twins that BOTH match is impossible, medically speaking!!) It took a split second to figure out which one was perfect for the job! Erik, Seth’s three year old brother, has always been overflowing with LIFE!! We’ve always said he has enough life to share. WOW!!!!
We continued on with hard chemo, pursuing the goal of transplant. On July 21st we started radiation, then were admitted for even stronger chemo on July 25th. Early on July 29th, Erik was admitted to have his bone marrow harvested. This was it.
Seth actually has three birthdays! His first birthday is February 22nd, when he was physically brought into this world. His second birthday was just two weeks before his Cancer diagnosis. This is the most important birthday because this was the day he was born spiritually. On this day, he confessed that he was a sinner and that he needed Jesus to rescue and save him. That was a day we prayed for long before he was brought into this world. GLORY TO GOD!!! Finally, on July 29th, Seth would receive a third birthday, by God’s grace!! The harvest went perfectly and around two in the afternoon Seth received that life-giving, perfectly matched, healthy and HEALING marrow! Seth did incredibly well through the rest of the process. He continued to get stronger and his body has been restored to his original strength.
What a “Glorious Unfolding” this has been!! We’ve watched the miracles and continued goodness of God and we’ve truly been AMAZED. We are also excited and trusting that there is an unfolding plan for the rest of Seths (and the rest of our families) life. No doubt He has BIG plans!!!”
-Kurt & Karina Hale