Our son Nathan is two and has Down syndrome. He was born with a condition that increased his chances of having leukemia to 65% by age three. Two weeks after he turned 2, we were in the hospital having him checked for leukemia due to drastically low blood counts. He underwent a bone marrow aspirate and a week later he was diagnosed with myelodysplastic disorder with the doctors believing he was moving towards a myeloid leukemia known as AML-M7, one of the worst types of myeloid leukemias. As our world felt like it was falling apart, Nathan was still the happy go lucky boy despite the every other day lab sticks, the multiple IV tries just to get it placed for his transfusions and the fatigue associated with the disorder. He would never cry, and he'd throw the nurses kisses and sign "thank you" even after they just tried 16 times to get an IV placed.
I can remember sitting in the rocking chair in his hospital room crying so hard; stroking his head and he'd look at me and smile and rub my face. Even on his worst days, he'd still try to do his therapy and during the two months of severely low blood counts and weekly transfusions he began to crawl on his hands and knees, pull up and cruise along surfaces, stand independently and even took two independent steps. He was fighting and wasn't letting this illness drag him down. He was inspirational to the rest of us because as we felt like we were victims in this horrible situation, he still had a smile and continued to fight. We decided we weren't going to be the victims and God was going to use this for His glory. Two months after the doctor told us he was moving towards leukemia and he was too far gone to rebound those counts on his own without chemo, his counts began to increase on their own and today they are all well within the normal range. God is good and we believe He used Nathan to teach us not to surrender, don't be a victim to an illness - fight and work hard and never stop believing.