Danny woke up on June 27th, 2012 with a strong pain in his lower right abdomen … strong enough that he was taken straight to the ER. At first, we thought it was appendicitis (not the case). Blood tests showed elevated white cell counts and low platelets; subsequent tests had his primary physician talking to pediatric oncologists in Columbia Presbyterian in NYC. Less than 12 hours after he said his side hurt, we were checking into the Columbia Children's hospital.
The diagnosis is Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, and - because of his age and various other factors - the treatement has been an intense combination of chemotheraphy and direct-brain radiation. Over the past 13 months, Danny has been hospitalized 7 times, almost died 4 times, experienced blood clots in his heart and lungs, and undergone four major surgeries to (successfully) save his leg after an infection. The entire program extends for 26 months, after which he has approximately a 30% chance of relapse.
Discharged from the hospital with a new-and-improved painkiller ("methodone"). That's right: Danny is taking meth. Now the rehab starts ... and it's not going to be easy.
If it turns out to be successful, the surgery will prevent total collapse of the distal femur on both legs (which would necessitate replacement) ... but it won't reduce his daily pain. Hell, it might make it worse. This was all just a "preventative action" to allow Danny to someday run again. For now, we just want him to walk.