Four-year-old Chase came down with a fever in August 2010. His mother, Vontifany Smith, worried it wasn't an ordinary virus and brought him to the emergency department at ACH.
Diagnosis: not just a fever
"That day changed the lives of my family in ways that words cannot express," says Vontifany. "I was very scared, but the medical staff at ACH gave me and my son a sense of assurance that we brought him to the right place at the right time."
The emergency room staff diagnosed Chase with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and admitted him to the Donald W. Reynolds Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. He had a mass growing in his chest and the team began coordinating Chase's treatment immediately.
The ACH cancer team in action
Two weeks later, the treatments began working and the mass in his chest began to shrink. Chase was transferred to the Hematology/Oncology unit, where he stayed for several more weeks.
Your support helps provide the best possible care for patients like Chase, which includes specialists in many areas:
- Primary care physicians, pediatricians and oncology specialists
- Oncology social workers
- Lab technicians
- Child Life specialists
Chase's cancer care team was no different. Specialists from many departments brought their expertise to his care.
"During the initial phase of Chase's treatment, we received excellent treatment from the oncology staff," Vontifany says. "Everyone was wonderful, and the social worker for the unit was instrumental in keeping my family encouraged, uplifted and informed with all the resources needed to make this event bearable."
On the road to a full recovery
Chase officially went into remission in October 2010. He returns to the hospital every two weeks for lab visits and monthly for chemotherapy.
When Chase finishes his final treatment in 2013, his medical team will miss his sweet smile.
Chase won't miss having cancer, but thanks to your support and his medical team at ACH, his biggest worry will be getting to hip-hop dance class on time.