Liam Nieuwsma

First post: 8/7/2016 Latest post: 6/26/2017
Welcome to Liam's site and thank you for visiting. We greatly appreciate your prayers, willingness to help out and words of encouragement! It cannot be overstated how important and helpful it has been to feel God's love poured out through friends, family, co-workers and our church family. Because of you we know God is with us and that He will be on the road ahead.

Liam is a 6 year old fun-loving, energetic, intelligent boy who loves playing outside, dinosaurs, Legos, video games, and has just mastered riding his bike without training wheels. On Wednesday August 3, 2016, Liam was diagnosed with Leukemia. In the weeks leading up to his diagnosis he had unexplained fevers and somewhat decreased energy, but overall it was very hard to see any major changes in him or his behavior. Liam had been running a fever on August 2, so when we brought him in for a routine check, the last thing we expected was to find out later in the day that he had cancer.

Leukemia is a cancer of the blood-forming cells that are produced in the bone marrow. His bone marrow was over 95% cancer cells at the time of diagnosis. He had almost no infection fighting immune system left and very few platelets for clotting blood. The specific type of leukemia Liam has is acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The leukemia cells are mutated cells that multiply uncontrollably and crowd out the healthy cells. Scientists do not know what causes this type of childhood cancer, but it is not hereditary. 

ALL is the most common among children (~2700 in the United States per year) and one of the most treatable types of leukemia. Liam's specific case may vary based on testing and treatment, but on average upwards of 90% of children in his age range diagnosed with ALL are able to be cured. Once cured there is a low chance of the cancer returning.

You can read more about leukemia at the following sites:
http://www.cancer.gov/types/leukemia/patient/child-all-treatment-pdq
http://www.childrenscancer.org/main/acute_lymphoblastic_leukemia_all/

Liam's treatment is planned to span the next three years. During this time he will be receiving many types of chemo and other drugs that can have many side effects such as moodiness, hair loss, and many other possible ailments. He will also have a weakened immune system for the duration of his treatment. Liam will be receiving occasional blood and platelet transfusions to keep him healthy. He will need to be hospitalized for fevers and will be much more vulnerable to catching illnesses from others during this time. Despite all of this, it is our goal to maintain as normal a lifestyle for Liam as possible. We plan to have him attend school, play sports, go to the pool etc, as his health & energy allow.   

We thank God for all the people he has surrounded us with during this time. The doctors, nurses and hospital staff have been outstanding. Visits, phone calls, texts, emails, and hugs have been uplifting and encouraging. 

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