Bebo’s journey with leukemia started with the gentle, but firm hand of our Heavenly Father urging Dara and Evan to take him into the doctor. His symptoms weren’t terrifying and there were no clear red flags. The only thing that was clear is that Heavenly Father was asking them to take him to the doctor. Evan packed the other kids up to head to church, while Dara headed into the urgent care with Bebo. He had been sleeping in later than normal the past few mornings, was pale, and didn’t have a great appetite. Dara had been vigilant about tracking his illness over those few days and suspected a minor viral infection or possibly mono.
Very quickly upon admission blood work revealed that something was terribly wrong. Bebos platelets were very low and his white blood cell count was only at 3. Bebo’s liver enzymes were also abnormal. Albert Lea physicians quickly determined that he needed to be transferred to Rochester where Bebo would have access to more specialized care. Initial blood smears showed abnormal cells reflective of leukemia. Further blood tests and a bone marrow biopsy later confirmed the diagnosis, Bebo has leukemia. Broken hearts turned to thankfulness the next day when it was confirmed that Bebo had type B leukemia, which carries the best prognosis. Unfortunately, a spinal tap did reveal that the cancer was in his cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and had already moved to his brain. There are three levels of severity with regards to the spread of cancer in his CSF and brain, and Bebo fell in the middle category.
The plan for Bebo from this point involves 28 days of a very intense combination of chemo and two to three surgeries per week for lumbar punctures and chemo washes of his CSF and brain. Fortunately, the doctors believe that this intense 28 days will result in 99.9% of the leukemia gone from Bebo’s body!! From there Bebo will have chemo as an outpatient 3 times per week for 6 months, followed by maintenance chemo for 3 years. Bebo also has a chest port so that the doctors and nurses can administer chemo and other medicine more easily without having to constantly poke him.
While this marathon has just begun, Dara and Evan are hopeful for a full recovery for Bebo! He is a very strong boy with a fighting spirit! Please lift this family up in prayer as they rely on their faith and the knowledge of their team of medical staff! Please also keep Bebo's 7 siblings in your prayers as well, including his newest baby sister, Lyla, who was born just 11 days after Bebo was diagnosed). We will all work together to keep you all updated! Thank you for your amazing support and continued prayers for strength, healing, and peace!