Hunter "HunterMan" Vela HunterManStrong2022

First post: Mar 19, 2022 Latest post: Nov 27, 2023
The backstory: Hunter Vela is a very active, full of life teenage boy. He has always been stubborn, outspoken, and independent. He also has a huge heart that loves big & unconditionally, a witty personality, and loyalty to his friend & family that can’t be matched. You would definitely know when Hunter was in a room! He is currently 14 years old, in 8th grade at Glenn MS, and a swimmer for SAISD. He is originally from Kerrville, where his mom and dad were both raised. Hunter moved to San Angelo and enrolled at Glenn this last summer, June of 2021.

The story: Hunter had a deep-dry, persistent cough which had been treated without relief. Being new to San Angelo’s pollen/allergens and new to continued chlorine exposure (he had never competitively swam prior to moving to San Angelo), the doctor was not highly concerned because there were explanations for his condition. After some time, we took Hunter back into the doctor as he still had the cough but now new signs that were a concerning. A precautionary X-Ray was done, even lungs still sounded clear, because now Hunter had obvious swelling in his lymph nodes around his collar bone area. This was Monday, 3/14 at approximately noon. A large supraclavicular mass was found and a CT with blood work was ordered that afternoon. By Tuesday at 1pm, results were in and his physician was consulting with specialists. Hunter was immediately referred to an oncologist with Cook Children's Hosptial in Ft. Worth. We hit the road for a scheduled appointment with the new specialist on Wednesday at 3pm. On Thursday they rushed to get his PET, CT, Echo, and biopsy all completed before the day's end. Friday at 6:09pm we received the call that he was being diagnosed with an aggressive case of Lymphoblastic Lymphoma.  Hunter was admitted to the hospital by 8pm on Friday and scheduled for port insertion, bone marrow testing, and chemo treatment no later than 8am Saturday morning. 
What a 4-day whirlwind this has been.  We are so very thankful for the curious doctor (Collins) who decided to trust his gut for an X-Ray when it was not necessarily obvious. We are so very thankful for the quick actions of the pediatrician (Campanini) who immediately consulted with oncology specialists to get the proper tests and referral completed. We are so very thankful for the knowledgeable specialist (Albritton) who acted quickly and pushed to get his tests/treatments started immediately.
There are so many spots that can be pinpointed, within this period of time, where God's hand was involved... leading each person who came in contact with our son. We give glory to God for the position that we are in currently and we trust that he will continue to touch each professional that has a hand in Hunter's treatment/recovery process.