POSTED: Friday, October 7, 2011 - 7:08pm
UPDATED: Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 12:10pm
MCALLEN - It's a story just beginning. It's about the beginning of a life and the beginning of fight to beat a deadly disease.
News Center 23 Reporter Erin Murray brings us the story of a two-year olds battle against acute lymphocytic leukemia.
Evan Shropshire holds a picture in his hand of himself the day his parents saw the first signs of his leukemia. It was at a Cardinals football game. Evan began throwing up and soon got a fever.
After four trips to the pediatrician, Evan and his family were sent to the PICU to find out what was wrong. It turned out Evan had Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, the most common childhood cancer.
"I started praying and asking God, ya know for a second chance, I was bartering and just begging," said Kristin Shropshire, Evan's Mother.
But to the family's surprise the second chance did come. It came in the form of a doctor. On the wrist of Evan's soon to be doctor was a bracelet that read, "Second Chance." The family wears that bracelet to this day.
After finding out about Evans diagnosis the family felt they were pushed and pulled to find the right place for treatment. And even though many told them to go up to Austin or Houston, it was actually right here in the valley that they found the best care.
They came to Vannie E. Cook Jr. Children's Cancer and Hematology Clinic. And it is here, Evan immediately started chemo. And while this treatment made him sick, gain weight and lose his hair, the nurses said Evan remained the outgoing two year-old he is today.
"While the chemo is running, infusing from the bag behind him on the pump. He's got all his usual toys around him and he is just uh doing normal two year old kind of things," said Ruth Anne Herring, Nurse Practitioner.
But there are good days and bad. After a month and a half after his diagnosis, Evan was put into a high risk category, meaning he could relapse at anytime. So the treatment had to increase.
"You are fighting everyday to help your son live. But all the medicines that he takes put his life in jeopardy," said Kristin.
Evan will be going through treatment until December 2013. He will be almost five years old. But it doesn't ever really end, the family says it's like running a race with no finish. But with a strong support system, this family of five is making it through, taking it one day at a time.
The family shares advice for parents with children who may be sick like Evan.
"Ask questions, because if you don't ask questions they are not going to know. Because nobody knows your kid like you do," said Sheldon Shropshire, Evan's Dad.
The Shropshire's say that at one point they thought their life would never go back to normal, but it's not quite a year later, and they are on their way to another Cardinals game with Evan ready to cheer!