Welcome to our CaringBridge website for Benji Paulakonis . We are using this site to keep our family and friends updated in one place.
On September 7th, Benji was diagnosed with Leukemia after a series of test revealed he had an abnormal white blood cell count. Leukemia is a cancer that attacks blood-forming cells in the bone marrow. We were immediately admitted to UNC Hospitals and have been under the care of an incredible team of doctors and nurses. Since our admission, several test have been run to better understand our leukemia type and the needed course of treatment. On September 9th, we learned that Benji has mixed phenotype acute leukemia, a form of leukemia where he has both acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). It is not very common for children to have a mixed leukemia, so we have been working with the doctors to design the best possible treatment plan. The current plan is to treat with several types of chemotherapy which are most commonly used to treat ALL. The first phase of treatment, known as induction, will allow us to see how Benji’s body responds to the medication. It is likely that we will have to evolve the treatment throughout this first phase. We are also awaiting some special test results that will be back in approximately 2 weeks to indicate if one of the medications is needed.
We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.