Connor is amazing!
Connor is a blond haired, blue-eyed, smart and determined child with Down Syndrome who was originally diagnosed with leukemia and a spinal tumor in April of 2004. After the surgery to remove the tumor, he spent the next six months in and out of the hospital receiving chemotherapy. The surgery damaged his spine, so he also had to learn to use his right hand again as well as walk again. It was amazing that he was able to start school in the fall. He used a little walker and he would speed down the school hallways. He was also determined to climb the playground equipment much to the dismay of his teachers. During the summer of 2006, while on vacation at the beach, Connor had trouble walking and we quickly returned home. We found out that his spine was growing crookedly from the prior surgery, crushing his spinal cord. He spent the next months in the hospital recovering from extensive surgery to repair his spine. He handled it all in stride, charming everyone with his sheer determination. He especially loved watching Christmas shows in July, and started his ongoing love for Scooby-Doo.
Connor finished his 2 ½ year chemo protocol, in October of 2006. All looked bright, until the summer of 2007. Connor began experiencing significant pain. In August, it was determined that he had relapsed leukemia, along with Central Nervous System (CNS) disease. With his amazing attitude and the support of all the doctors and nurses at MCV, Connor completed 6 months of intensive chemo, then in March of 2008 had a bone marrow transplant (BMT). His nine-year old sister Casey was his donor. Connor had a quiet summer recovering from the BMT and was able to attend school in the fall. 2009 looked bright for Connor, until he relapsed for the second time in August 2009. He completed six months of high-risk chemotherapy, then had a Donor Lymphocyte Infusion (DLI) procedure using the white blood cells from his now 12-year old sister, Casey. As of July 2010, Connor is doing well. We take one day at a time and always keep a positive attitude. It is easy to be optimistic with such a sweet, happy, and determined child. Connor loves school, swimming, reading, roller coasters at Kings Dominion, lots of hugs and kisses, and of course Scooby-Doo.
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