Caleb's Crew!

Organized by: Steven Lasky

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Caleb is three years old, and is about as sweet and outgoing as they come! Caleb has a twin brother named Carsen who is his best friend. The boys were born only 4 minutes apart. Caleb absolutely loves farming. When he can, he loves riding on the tractors and combines through his family’s fields with his great uncle or great grandpa. He also loves sports, especially baseball, soccer, basketball, and football. He’s always very active and loves playing outside, but also loves watching TV and Disney movies. When he and his family get the chance, they all love to go to the zoo and also to the Shedd Aquarium.

On May 21, 2012, when Caleb was only 17 months old, Caleb went to his Laporte pediatrician for blood work for unexplained bruising. Later that night we got a call from Caleb’s pediatrician saying to go to South Bend Memorial oncology/hematology for another blood draw.

That night in a conference room, they told us the horrific news…Caleb has leukemia. Since it was so late at night by the time all was said and done, in the morning we were rushed, by ambulance, to Riley. That morning at Riley, Caleb underwent a bone marrow biopsy and spinal tap to see what type of leukemia he had and to see if it spread to his spinal column and brain. Luckily they found no leukemia cells in his spinal fluid! He was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He was put on average risk treatment due to the fact that he was under 2 and the amount of leukemic cells found in blood samples.

We stayed at Riley for 6 days. In those 6 days, Caleb had surgery for port placement, started chemo, had another spinal tap, another bone marrow biopsy, and had blood and platelet transfusions. Saying it was a rough week was an understatement.

Leukemia treatment is unusual because it’s in blood and blood travels everywhere. There are no stages. There are 6 phases of treatment: inductions, consolidation, interim maintenance 1, delayed intensification, interim maintenance 2, and then maintenance. Complete treatment for a boy is 3 years, 3 months and for girls it is 2 years. These phases are all different and involve harsh IV chemo, oral chemo, spinal taps, bone marrow biopsy, steroids, and injections.

Caleb went back to Riley at the end of month 1 for another bone marrow biopsy. Caleb still gets his daily oral chemo from Riley. If anything should happen to the port, Riley will also be the one to fix or replace it. When treatment is completed on July 31, 2015, Caleb will go back to Riley to get the port removed.

Caleb was in remission early on, on June 1, 2012. Although in remission leukemia has the tendency to come back, so the treatment is a long process to keep it away for good. Caleb is in the final phase of treatment, the maintenance phase. He now receives IV chemo every 4 weeks, spinal tap every 12 weeks, oral chemo daily, steroids twice a day for a week every month, and antibiotic on weekends.

Despite all of this, our family has started a non-profit organization to benefit childhood cancer patients, called iCaleb&Co;. The mission is to provide an iPad, Otter Box cover, and an iTunes gift card to every child in active treatment battling cancer at South Bend Memorial hospital (the hospital where Caleb spends most of his time at) and also to the childhood cancer patients at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne. The organization runs strictly on donations, and every amount is always very much appreciated as every package we provide to a child battling cancer is a great surprise to them and absolutely brightens their day in the hospital. To view the mission statement, donate, and/or read more about the organization and get updates on Caleb, you can visit their website and/or Facebook.


Organized by

Steven Lasky

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