Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support, encouragement, and prayers.
This past Fall 2019, Will was playing a 2nd year of hockey in the USHL with the Cedar Rapids Rough Riders and tore his meniscus during a practice. That ended the hockey season for him, and he returned home to Minnesota for a repair surgery in November. As he healed from the injury, he moved to Duluth in January 2020 to start 2nd semester as a student at the University of Minnesota where he planned to play hockey in the fall of 2020. He was doing all his usual activities...working out, rehabbing his knee, and studying for classes, but a few weeks ago he had a sore throat and was feeling tired all the time. He went to the doctor (twice) and was treated for tonsillitis. His throat soon felt better, and this past week over his spring break he went to Lutsen on Lake Superior's north shore (with his dad, cousins James and Tommy, and Uncle Tom) and went snowmobiling from Grand Marais to the Canadian border. After that, the rest of the family joined them in Lutsen (there were 10 of us!) but Will was still feeling extreme fatigue and had lost his appetite. So on Friday, March 13th, he and his dad went to the hospital in Grand Marais to get another mono test. Thankfully, the doctor ran a blood test this time and found that something wasn't right...his white blood cells were at 178,000 (normal is around 10,000).
At 8 p.m. he was told "we think you have Leukemia." He was given a blood transfusion and taken by ambulance to the ICU at Masonic Children's Hospital in Minneapolis where the doctors determined that he has B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia - (ALL). It's a type of cancer where the white blood cells spontaneously divide and multiply so fast that it crowds out the good blood cells, and ultimately the marrow's ability to produce good cells - white, red and platelets. It is not genetic and probably started within the last month.
On March 16th, 2020, Will started chemotherapy and the doctors are very happy with his body's early response. The side effects from chemo have been minimal and our goal is to be in remission in 28 days, and then spend the next 2 years rebuilding healthy blood.
As for how Will is handling this...he's a fighter (some in the hockey world would say - Literally)! He's been strong, mature and is handling this with humor. Please know that our son is an amazing young man who is filled with an unbreakable spirit. He is ready to fight this thing and "Kick it's A$$!" (Direct quote from Will). It will not be easy, but we know God is SO GOOD! With the love and support from our family, friends and community we can fight alongside Will through prayers and more.
Thank you for visiting!
Love, Heather, Jeff, Summer, Luke, and WILL FRANCIS!!
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