BENEFITING: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
EVENT DATE: Jan 07, 2012
I have a personal mission-to help find cures and more effective treatments for blood cancers. To accomplish that mission, I’m participating in a sports endurance event as a member of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training. Like the other members of TNT, I will be raising funds to help find cures and better treatments for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma. I’m improving the quality of my life by participating and with your support; I can help improve the quality of life for patients and their families as well.
John Bokolas is a pretty cool kid. He's your typical 10 year old. Sometimes he's hard headed; he picks on his brother Gabe and likes to rattle Mom, Amy, chains. He's a goofball, shy, an athlete, a mama's boy, a wild child, a singer, a protector, "little-man" and a dare devil.
But the coolest part about John... he's a fighter.
John, known to the family as Johnny, was always a chunky monkey toddler with a head full of hair. He's got these awesome cheeks that you can't help but want to pinch when you meet him. Just after his 3rd birthday in September of 2003, Amy had started to notice changes in Johnny. Not typical changes. She started noticing a yellowish discoloration to Johnny's face, followed by random bruising. Bruising, for no reason at all actually. He developed a low grade fever, constantly, and these red spots all over his chest. The Doctors all told Amy he was "fighting a virus" on several occasions. Her persistence in calling the Doctors was incessant. I mean this just wasn't normal, Amy thought. She wouldn't give up until she had this undeniable proof- do you blame her? Finally on the last visit, the Doctors thought maybe Johnny was anemic. They sent him to the ER for a series of blood tests to come to some conclusion... what was up with the boy?
November 25, 2003 came and Amy took John to the ER that afternoon. After a series of several blood tests, Doctors FINALLY had an idea of what was causing Johnny's symptoms. Amy would finally be able to breathe, right?
His white cell count was at 54,000- which prove to be high risk. High risk? What could this healthy 3 year old boy be at high risk for?
The doctors came back with news: Johnny was 98% leukemia. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) to be exact. ALL is a fast-growing cancer of the white blood cells. This rapid growth crowds out the red bloods cells, suffocating them, and leaving nothing for the body to fight off infection with.
That evening, Johnny was given a full blood and platelet transfusion. He underwent surgery to have a port put into his tiny little chest followed by chemotherapy treatments, steroids, loss of his dark brown hair, sickness, weight loss and Christmas in the hospital. He was poked with a needle here and there. And this kid was 3 years old. He was a trooper.
John has since overcome this horrific disease. He just had his 5 year mark this June. He's a swimmer, Boy-Scout, tennis player, play station master, superman ice-cream eating,4 wheeler riding, 5th grade, rice and corn eating, sugar loving, brown eyed, brown haired, tan skinned, 10 year old boy.
And he's our Superman.
Help me fight this battle. Please donate to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and sponsor me in my half marathon run at Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend 2012
I know I appreciate it, but Superman does too....
Thank you to everyone!!!
In Honor of:
In Memory of:
Sharon Lalla <3
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